Effect of reinforcement on performance of masonry and concrete shear walls


Shear walls are critical elements in structures as they are designed to resist lateral loads caused by earthquakes and winds. Reinforced concrete shear walls are commonly used in medium to high rise buildings. Recently, reinforced masonry shear walls have become more popular since they are considered to behave similarly to reinforced concrete walls and are relatively cheaper to construct. Reinforcement detailing has significant effects on the behaviour of reinforced concrete and masonry shear walls. However, there is a growing concern amongst the engineering industry that the current Australian design standards for concrete (AS3600 -2018) and masonry (AS3700-2018) walls have contradicting specifications in relation to reinforcement detailing which may undermine the safety of shear walls. The goal of this research is to analyse the effects of reinforcement detailing on the lateral response of masonry and concrete shear walls through experimental and numerical investigations to establish the reliability of existing standards.


Research Activities

  • Carry out lab tests on concrete and masonry walls with different reinforcement arrangements.
  • Investigate the shear strength and drift parameters of the tested walls for earthquake design.
  • Establish robust finite element models to accurately predict the structural response of the tested walls.
  • Develop analytical models for drift of concrete and masonry shear walls with different reinforcement arrangements.


Study level


  • Dr Julian Thamboo, Senior Lecturer, South Eastern University of Sri Lanka
  • Concrete Masonry Association Australia (CMAA)