A full-scale two-story Unreinforced masonry (URM) building was tested in a quasistatic fashion to investigate the nonlinear properties of existing URM structures and to assess the efficiency of several common retrofit techniques. This paper presents the main experimental findings associated with the nonlinear properties of the original URM structure. The test structure exhibited large initial stiffness and its damage was characterized by large, discrete cracks that developed in masonry walls. Significant global behavior such as global rocking of an entire wall, and local responses such as rocking and sliding of each individual pier were observed in the masonry walls with different configurations. In addition, formation of flanges in perpendicular walls and overturning moments had significant effects on the behavior of the test structure. A comparison between the experimental observations and the predictions of FEMA 356 provisions shows that major improvements are needed for this latter methodology.
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