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Author(s): P. Lukkunaprasit | A. Ruangrassamee

Journal: Science of Tsunami Hazards
ISSN 8755-6839

Volume: 28;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 303;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Tsunami loading | Building | Opening | Experiment | Pressure

Reinforced concrete (RC) buildings with openings in the masonry infill panels have shown superior performance to those without openings in the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Understanding the effect of openings and the resulting tsunami force is essential for an economical and safe design of vertical evacuation shelters against tsunamis. One-to-one hundred scale building models with square shape in plan were tested in a 40 m long hydraulic flume with 1 m x 1 m cross section. A mild slope of 0.5 degree representing the beach condition at Phuket, Thailand was simulated in the hydraulic laboratory. The model dimensions were 150 mm x 150 mm x 150 mm. Two opening configurations of the front and back walls were investigated, viz., 25% and 50% openings. Pressure sensors were placed on the faces of the model to measure the pressure distribution. A high frequency load cell was mounted at the base of the model to record the tsunami forces. A bi-linear pressure profile is proposed for determining the maximum tsunami force acting on solid square buildings. The influence of openings on the peak pressures on the front face of the model is found to be practically insignificant. For 25% and 50% opening models, the tsunami forces reduce by about 15% and 30% from the model without openings, respectively. The reduction in the tsunami force clearly demonstrates the benefit of openings in reducing the effect of tsunami on such buildings.
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