Seismic behavior and assessment of masonry heritage structures. Needs in engineering judgement and education
Keywords:Structural assessment, Limit analysis, Nonlinear pushover analysis, Nonlinear dynamic analysis, Damage survey and in-situ testing
Built cultural heritage is at risk due to manmade and natural hazards. The seismic vulnerability of ancient masonry buildings is particularly difficult to assess and requires specialized technical skills. Key aspects are the materials properties and nonlinear effects, the morphology of the structural elements, the connections between structural elements, the stiffness of horizontal diaphragms and the building condition. This paper addresses the holistic approach recommended for the structural assessment of historic masonry buildings and the developments in the areas of inspection, diagnosis, monitoring and non-destructive testing, with applications to emblematic monuments. The methodology covers a step-by-step approach, based on historical research, an inductive study on similar structures, and a range of surveying, experimental, analytical and numerical tools, all aimed at evaluating the structural response and defining safety levels. Attention is given to the need of conservation engineering background of professionals and ways to attain this goal.
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