AbstractThis study was aimed to conduct a thorough experimental investigation on the seismic performance of semiconfined unreinforced brick masonry (SC-URBM) building as a structural topology. Experiments were conducted on two identical full-scale single-story brick masonry buildings: one is completely unreinforced (URBM), and the other is retrofitted with semiconfining horizontal and vertical reinforced concrete (RC) elements (SC-URBM). Both buildings were subjected to FEMA 461 specified reverse slow-cyclic quasi-static loading protocol to quantify the improved seismic performance of the SC-URBM building compared to the URBM building. From the experimental results, ductility capacity, load carrying capacity, and energy dissipation capacity were evaluated, along with important observations such as failure mechanisms from prepeak to postpeak regimes. The results and observation from the experiments demonstrate that the semiconfining elements significantly enhance the energy dissipation capacity and ductility of the retrofitted SC-URBM building without compromising its strength, thereby implying the superior performance of such buildings in comparison to URBM buildings.