Date of Award

Spring 7-23-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Abbie Liel

Second Advisor

Petros Sideris


Estimating the lateral yielding strength of a multi-story reinforced concrete wall-frame structure is complex due to the interaction forces between the wall and the frame. The interaction force is perpetually changing corresponding with a time varying load, such as seismic excitation, and depending on material nonlinearities. This thesis is motivated by the ATC 78 project, which has an overall goal to develop simplified hand calculations, which consider nonlinearities and use probabilistic approaches, as a way to effectively and efficiently “rate” the seismic performance of reinforced concrete buildings on a unified rating system. In doing so, the new methodology will be able locate “killer buildings”, which were built before modern seismic building codes and may be particularly dangerous for building occupants and the public. The conclusions are used to develop a new engineering parameter β that can be used to relate simplified hand calculations to the actual strength of the structure.