Field observations from recent earthquakes in Italy have shown numerous examples of unsatisfactory out-of- plane performance of masonry infills and façade veneers. Extensive damage in some cases has occurred also in recently constructed buildings, indicating the need for improved detailing and a more effective design procedure. The design recommendations related to the verification of the out-of-plane stability in currently adopted code regulations are rather general, providing a simplified approach for the approximation of seismic action effects. However, no recommendations related to the evaluation of the infill resistance are given. In principle, resistance models based on arching action can be used, but they may be considered appropriate only for undamaged infills built in contact with the frame. Due to the directionally combined infill degradation in the case of horizontal loading induced by earthquakes, the out-of-plane strength verification of infills damaged due to excitations in the in-plane direction appears to be governing the design. In this work, the application of the current design procedure for non-structural masonry is studied, and the relation between in-plane and out-of-plane damage is examined, starting from existing experimental results. Consequently, proposals for a simplified design approach are provided, accounting for expected levels of in-plane damage in the out-of-plane safety verification.
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