Completed or near conclusion projects
The main activities carried out in the first years of Eucentre regarding the seismic behaviour of masonry buildings and of the masonry architectural heritage have been the following.

  • Theoretical and numerical research for the definition of suitable methods of analysis and consistent seismic actions for new and existing masonry buildings. The main results of such activities are the definition of new behaviour factors for the seismic safety assessment via linear analysis methods, including the overstrength ratio (an important novelty for masonry structures in seismic codes); the development of methods and software for the global nonlinear seismic analysis (static and dynamic) of masonry buildings and of mixed masonry/reinforced concrete buildings; the definition of methodologies for the out-of-plane seismic assessment of masonry walls and substructures. The above mentioned activities have been mainly carried out with the financial contribution of the Department of Civil Protection and of industrial partners;
  • Experimental research aimed at the evaluation of effective strengthening techniques for existing stone masonry buildings, with particular focus on the strengthening of floor/roof diaphragms and on the diaphragm-to-wall connection. These researches were concentrated on three dynamic full-scale shake table tests on prototype stone masonry buildings, funded by the Department of Civil Protection (Progetto Esecutivo Eucentre e Progetto Reluis 2005-2008). Thanks to a significant set of characterization tests on masonry elements (vertical compression, diagonal compression and cyclic shear tests both on masonry piers and spandrel beams), numerical models have been calibrated to support the design of the dynamic tests and the prediction of the experimental response of the building prototypes.
  • Numerical studies aiming at the evaluation of the code approach for the seismic assessment of existing masonry buildings, based on the definition of knowledge levels and confidence factors. The aim is to propose a more consistent approach, taking into account all the sources of uncertainty, and producing more reliable results.
  • Experimental and numerical research aiming at a more accurate definition of the displacement capacity of different masonry structural elements.
  • Internationally co-ordinated researches aimed at the experimental and theoretical study of the seismic behaviour of the most recent European masonry typologies (e.g. ESECMaSE project, funded by the European Commission). In parallel to such activities, a thorough review of experimental data obtained from different European laboratories on clay masonry walls has been carried out. After a comprehensive numerical campaign, this allowed obtaining updated indications on the performance and on the seismic design criteria for clay masonry buildings (research funded by Wienerberger AG). Remaining in the field of technologies for new buildings, an articulated experimental and numerical research has been carried out to characterize the use of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) units either for non-structural enclosure walls or infills or for structural walls under seismic action (research funded by Xella and RDB-Hebel). A similar research activity has been recently started on clay block masonry with thin webs and shells and thin-layer mortar (research funded by ASSOPLAN).
  • Numerical simulation of the seismic behaviour of unreinforced and reinforced masonry buildings built with lightweight aggregate concrete blocks (research funded by ANPEL- Laterlite).
  • Development of ad-hoc software/design tools for the design and safety check of masonry infill walls with bedjoint truss reinforcement (consultancy funded by Bekaert) and large reinforced masonry industrial enclosure walls realised with lightweight aggregate concrete blocks (research funded by ANPEL – Laterlite).
  • Research aimed at the development of procedures, guidelines, manuals for the evaluation and the reduction of the seismic vulnerability of existing masonry buildings both at urban/territorial scale and for single buildings, commissioned by several public bodies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lombardia Region) or within international scientific co-operation framework programmes (e.g. Pakistan, India, Slovenia).
  • Numerical-experimental research activity aimed at studying traditional and innovative strengthening techniques for the reduction of the seismic vulnerability of monuments (application to Hindu and Greek-Roman temples, in collaboration with the Eucentre Geotechnical earthquake engineering section and IIT Madras, funded by Lombardia Region).
  • Consultancy, training and technical-scientific support in the application of seismic design criteria and assessment of existing masonry buildings, including those belonging to the cultural-architectural heritage.
  • Numerical and experimental study on the seismic behaviour of clay infill walls: traditional and innovative solutions and verification methods (in collaboration with ANDIL).
  • Numerical and experimental study aiming at the evaluation of the contribution of masonry spandrels to the seismic response of masonry buildings.

ParticulNarly significant is the contribution of Eucentre to the development of the most recent codes regarding the design, assessment and retrofit of masonry buildings (OPCM 3431/2005, Italian Building Code D.M. 14/1/2008 and Instructions C.I. 2/2/2009, national appendixes for Eurocodes).
Moreover, the Masonry Structures section of Eucentre performs consulting for the technical seismic proofing (technical approvals) of new masonry construction technologies, both at national and European level.

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