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Excellent Masters Student Thesis Supported by Quake Centre Scholarship


Richard Malcolm of Holmes Consulting Group has recently completed his Masters thesis entitled Seismic Performance of Reinforced Concrete Coupled Walls.


He was supervised by Professor Jason Ingham (University of Auckland) and Adjunct Professor Des Bull (University of Canterbury) and supported by a scholarship from the Quake Centre.


His excellent thesis was awarded an A+ grade.


The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission identified a number of buildings that included reinforced concrete coupled walls which did not perform as anticipated in the Canterbury earthquake sequence. In such buildings the wall piers are linked by coupling beams at each floor level.


Richard’s research used finite element software to analyse the interaction of the beams and floors. It was found that the floors tended to restrain the elongation of coupling beams and cause large coupling beam strength increases. This is not adequately considered in current design standards. Consequently, an approximate method of accounting for the axial restraint of coupled walls was developed. This will inform the next update to the New Zealand Concrete Standard NZS 3101.











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