Validation of the seismic response of an RC frame building with masonry infill walls - The case of the 2017 Mexico earthquake

Tania C. Albornoz, Leonardo M. Massone*, Julian Carrillo, Francisco Hernández, Yolanda Alberto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In 2017, an intraplate earthquake of Mw 7.1 occurred 120 km from Mexico City (CDMX). Most collapsed structural buildings stroked by the earthquake were flat slab systems joined to reinforced concrete (RC) columns, unreinforced masonry, confined masonry, and dual systems. This article presents the simulated response of an actual six-story RC frame building with masonry infill walls that did not collapse during the 2017 earthquake. It has a structural system similar to that of many of the collapsed buildings and is located in a high seismic amplification zone. Five 3D numerical models were used in the study to model the seismic response of the building. The building dynamic properties were identified using an ambient vibration test (AVT), enabling validation of the building’s finite element models. Several assumptions were made to calibrate the numerical model to the properties identified from the AVT, such as the presence of adjacent buildings, variations in masonry properties, soil-foundation-structure interaction, and the contribution of non-structural elements. The results showed that the infill masonry wall would act as a compression strut and crack along the transverse direction because the shear stresses in the original model (0.85 MPa) exceeded the shear strength (0.38 MPa). In compression, the strut presents lower stresses (3.42 MPa) well below its capacity (6.8 MPa). Although the non-structural elements were not considered to be part of the lateral resistant system, the results showed that these elements could contribute by resisting part of the base shear force, reaching a force of 82 kN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-251
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Computational Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Techno-Press, Ltd.


  • ambient vibration test
  • infill wall
  • masonry
  • Mexico earthquake
  • nonlinear model
  • RC frame


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of the seismic response of an RC frame building with masonry infill walls - The case of the 2017 Mexico earthquake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this