Large-scale reinforced concrete low-rise shear walls designed without seismic
consideration, as practised in low probability of seismic occurrence regions, are
tested under reversed cyclic loading. The seismic behaviour and inherent ductility of
shear walls are experimentally established by testing the non-seismically designed
shear-wall specimens in the case where the reinforcement detailing is consistent with
that typically adopted for shear-wall buildings in which the design code of practice
has not stipulated any requirement for seismic compliance in steel details. The
experimental study reveals that the inherent displacement ductility factors of 2.5 to 3
may generally achieved for the shear walls with non-seismic reinforcement detailing.
By correlating the available ductility with the required ductility demands, it is
indicated that ordinary low-rise shear walls with non-seismic design and detailing
may not possess the ductility to adequately respond to an unexpected
low-to-moderate earthquake, then not sufficiently satisfy the ductility demand for
shear-wall building structures in regions of low to moderate seismicity, including
Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, Central America and many other regions in the world.
Modification in reinforcement detailing specifications for non-seismic design should
be made in order for improving the seismic performance and enhancing the ductility
and energy dissipation capacity of non-seismically designed and detailed reinforced
concrete shear walls in regions of low to moderate seismicity. Further experimental
studies on improving the ductility of non-seismically designed shear-wall structures
are being carried out for moderate seismicity.