The seismic performance of existing unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings is considerably affected by typology and level of effectiveness of both construction details and structural components, especially if not originally designed for resisting earthquakes. Within this framework, the use of advanced numerical approaches that are capable of duly accounting for such aspects might improve significantly the assessment of the global response of URM structures. In this article, the applied element method is thus employed for simulating the shake table response of a number of full-scale building specimens representative of cavity wall terraced house construction, used in a number of countries exposed to tectonic or induced seismicity, accounting explicitly for the influence of the presence of both rigid and flexible diaphragms, degree of connections among structural members, and interaction between in- and out-of-plane mechanisms. Although the models slightly underestimated the energy dissipation in some specific cycles prior to collapse, the predicted crack patterns, failure modes, and hysteretic behaviors have shown a good agreement with their experimental counterparts.

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