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Dissertation Defence: Seismic risk assessment of code-conforming reinforced concrete buildings: consideration of unreinforced masonry infill wall and soil-structure interactions

June 5, 2023 at 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Nurbaiah Mohammad Noh, supervised by Dr. Solomon Tesfamariam, will defend their dissertation titled “Seismic risk assessment of code-conforming reinforced concrete buildings: consideration of unreinforced masonry infill wall and soil-structure interactions” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering.

An abstract for Nurbaiah’s dissertation is included below.

Examinations are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public.

Please email solomon.tesfamariam@ubc.ca to receive the zoom link for this defence.


The seismic vulnerability of reinforced concrete (RC) frames with unreinforced masonry (URM) infill walls has been a concern in areas with high seismic activity. The seismic response of this structural system is usually modelled in the form of global building analysis using simplified procedures without considering the aspects resulting from the response between the infill walls and the frame. Another factor usually ignored is the interaction between structure and soil, which can considerably impact the actual structure’s behaviour. Current design standards do not provide adequate instructions or transparent methodologies for assessing the risk of the infilled RC building systems with consideration of the SSI effect. This research aims to provide a conceptual framework and benchmark data for assessing building risk, particularly for code-conforming RC frames with URM infill walls incorporating SSI in Vancouver, British Columbia. The study starts by selecting a simple and reliable analytical model for the infill wall response. A systematic guideline was developed to evaluate various parameters needed to define the monotonic and hysteretic response of infill walls modelled by equivalent struts. Different strut formulations and hysteretic models have been analyzed in detail and used to reproduce several experimental tests available in the literature. The numerical analyses are performed using the OpenSees computer program. Subsequently, this study assesses the seismic risk of the three- and six-storey regular RC MRF building systems, with and without URM infill walls, representing low- to mid-rise structures through incremental dynamic analyses (IDA). These structures are designed per the National Building Code of Canada 2010 and detailed based on the 2014 Canadian Standards Association A23.3 standard provision for seismically active regions. Two different ductility classes of seismic building design, namely ductile and moderately ductile, are considered to identify the capability, equality, and/or difference in the seismic performance of these designed buildings. Finally, a parametric study was conducted to determine the performance of the building with the consideration of the SSI. The goal was pursued through a parametric study in which the structure type and shallow foundation embedment depth were varied. It was discovered that implementing a realistic model with a wide range of parameters in the analysis is evident and now practicable.


June 5, 2023
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Additional Info

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Event Type
Thesis Defence
Research and Innovation, Science, Technology and Engineering
Alumni, Community, Faculty, Staff, Families, Partners and Industry, Students, Postdoctoral Fellows and Research Associates