The response of Hotel San Diego, a six-story reinforced concrete infilled-frame structure, is evaluated following the simultaneous removal of two adjacent exterior columns. Analytical models of the structure using the Finite Element Method as well as the Applied Element Method are used to calculate global and local deformations. The analytical results show good agreement with experimental data. The structure resisted progressive collapse with a measured maximum vertical displacement of only one quarter of an inch (6.4 mm). Deformation propagation over the height of the structure and the dynamic load redistribution following the column removal are experimentally and analytically evaluated and described. The difference between axial and flexural wave propagations is discussed. Three-dimensional Vierendeel (frame) action of the transverse and longitudinal frames with the participation of infill walls is identified as the major mechanism for redistribution of loads in the structure. The effects of two potential brittle modes of failure (fracture of beam sections without tensile reinforcement and reinforcing bar pull out) are described. The response of the structure due to additional gravity loads and in the absence of infill walls is analytically evaluated.

Mehrdad Sasani, Response of a Reinforced Concrete Infilled-Frame Structure to Removal of Two Adjacent Columns, Engineering Structures, Volume 30, Issue 9, September 2008, pp 2478-2491.