Case Studies | Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics

Structural performance of URM school buildings during the 2019 Albania earthquakes

Marjo Hysenlliu, Huseyin Bilgin, Altin Bidaj, Marsed Leti



This paper aims to study the seismic performance of school buildings, which have been built in accordance with template unreinforced masonry [URM] school projects in Albania. For this purpose, the most widely used two template designs which were damaged during the 2019 Durrës (Albania) Earthquakes, have been selected. Analytical models of each school were prepared following the experimental data on the quality of the masonry constitutive components of the selected school buildings. Geotechnical investigations were deployed to obtain the soil characteristics of the area where the schools’ foundation are located. Nonlinear static analyses have been performed to obtain the seismic capacity, the performance point and the damage level states. The performance-based method has been used to that purpose. The detailed examination of capacity curves and performance evaluation identified deficiencies and weak parts of the school building blocks. Results have shown that existing school buildings constructed pre-modern codes are far from satisfying the required performance criteria, suggesting that urgent response and necessary measure should be put into action.


URM school buildings; seismic performance; 2019 Albanian earthquakes; non-linear static analysis; template projects

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