A case study examines an instrumented building and its response to moderate earthquake ground motion. The building sustained critical damage in a solid wall panel located below a stack of openings between two slab-coupled walls. Performance of the building was studied by examining the measured response, comparing it with response calculated using dynamic analysis of a numerical model of the building structure, and analyzing demands and capacities of the damaged wall panel zone. The study indicates that geometric and reinforcement discontinuities created vulnerabilities in a structure that, otherwise, should have been expected to survive the ground motion with cosmetic damage only. The study illustrates the importance of paying attention to the effects of discontinuities on the seismic response of structural walls.
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