New PEER Report 2020/19: "Cripple Wall Small-Component Test Program: Comparisons"

December 16, 2020

PEER has just published Report No. 2020/19: "Cripple Wall Small-Component - Test Program: Comparisons," a report for the "Quantifying the Performance of Retrofit of Cripple Walls and Sill Anchorage in Single-Family Wood-Frame Buildings" Project. It was authored by Brandon Schiller and Tara Hutchinson, Universiity of California, San Diego; and Kelly Cobeen, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Visit the PEER publications page to download a free color pdf of the document.


This  report  is  one  of  a  series  of  reports  documenting  the  methods  and  findings  of  a  multi-year,  multi-disciplinary  project  coordinated  by  the  Pacific  Earthquake  Engineering  Research  Center  (PEER) and funded by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). The overall project is titled “Quantifying the Performance of Retrofit of Cripple Walls and Sill Anchorage in Single-Family Wood-Frame Buildings,” henceforth referred to as the “PEER–CEA Project.”

The  overall  objective  of  the  PEER–CEA  Project  is  to  provide  scientifically  based  information  (e.g.,  testing,  analysis,  and  resulting  loss  models)  that  measure  and  assess  the  effectiveness of seismic retrofit to reduce the risk of damage and associated losses (repair costs) of  wood-frame  houses  with  cripple  wall  and  sill  anchorage  deficiencies  as  well  as  retrofitted  conditions that address those deficiencies. Tasks that support and inform the loss-modeling effort are: (1) collecting and summarizing existing information and results of previous research on the performance   of   wood-frame   houses;   (2)   identifying   construction   features   to   characterize   alternative  variants  of  wood-frame  houses;  (3)  characterizing  earthquake  hazard  and  ground  motions  at  representative  sites  in  California;  (4)  developing  cyclic  loading  protocols  and  conducting  laboratory  tests  of  cripple  wall  panels,  wood-frame  wall  subassemblies,  and  sill  anchorages to measure and document their response (strength and stiffness) under cyclic loading; and (5) the computer modeling, simulations, and the development of loss models as informed by a workshop with claims adjustors.

This report is a product of Working Group 4 (WG4): Testing, whose central focus was to experimentally investigate the seismic performance of retrofit and existing cripple walls. Amongst the body of reports from WG4, in the present report, a suite of four small cripple wall test phases, in total 28 specimens, are cross compared with varied exterior finishes, namely stucco (wet) and non-stucco (dry) exterior finishes. Details representative of era specific construction, specifically the  most  vulnerable  pre-1960s  construction  are  of  predominant  focus  in  the  present  effort.  Experiments  involved  imposition  of  combined  vertical  loading  and  quasi-static  reversed  cyclic  lateral load onto cripple walls of 12 ft in length and 2 ft or 6 ft in height. All specimens in this report were constructed with the same boundary conditions and tested with the same vertical load. Parameters addressed in this report include: wet exterior finishes (stucco over framing, stucco over horizontal lumber sheathing, and stucco over diagonal lumber sheathing); and dry exterior finishes (horizontal siding, horizontal siding over diagonal sheathing, and T1-11 wood structural panels) with attention towards cripple wall height and the retrofit condition. The present report provides only a brief overview of the test program and setup; whereas a series of three prior reports present results of test groupings nominally by exterior finish type (wet versus dry). As such, herein the focus is to cross compare key measurements and observations of the in-plane seismic behavior of all 28 specimens.