More tests are needed because researchers ended the most recent test before "breaking" the beam specimen. "We stopped so that we could save the wall from destruction so that we can test the wall itself," says Klemencic.

Future tests also will look at using simple steel plates as reinforcing instead of wide-flange sections. 

The engineers expect to finish the tests in about a year. Proposals will follow for changes to the 2017 edition of the American Concrete Institute's (ACI) seismic standard and to general wall provisions, also for wind resistance. In addition, the researchers will propose revisions to provisions for structural-steel link beams in the 2015 edition of the American Institute of Steel Construction's (AISC) standard. The requirements in ACI and AISC need to be coordinated, says Klemencic.  

Meanwhile, engineers can use the research to convince building officials or peer reviewers that design assumptions are correct. Most building officials are open to alternate designs, especially in performance-based design in which there is a more-detailed peer review, says Klemencic.