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Analytical and numerical seismic assessment of heritage masonry towers

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Abstract: The new Italian building code, published in 2018 [MIT in NTC 2018: D.M. del Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei trasporti del 17/01/2018. Aggiornamento delle Norme Tecniche per le Costruzioni (in Italian), 2018], explicitly refers to the Italian “Guidelines for the assessment and mitigation of the seismic risk of the cultural heritage” [PCM in DPCM 2011: Direttiva del Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri per valutazione e riduzione del rischio sismico del patrimonio culturale con riferimento alle norme tecniche per le costruzioni, G.U. n. 47 (in Italian), 2011] as a reliable source of guidance that can be employed for the vulnerability assessment of heritage buildings under seismic loads. According to these guidelines, three evaluation levels are introduced to analyse and assess the seismic capacity of historic masonry structures, namely: (1) simplified global static analyses; (2) kinematic analyses based on local collapse mechanisms, (3) detailed global analyses. Because of the complexity and the large variety of existing masonry typologies, which makes it particularly problematic to adopt a unique procedure for all existing structures, the guidelines provide different simplified analysis approaches for different structural configurations, e.g. churches, palaces, towers. Among the existing typologies of masonry structures there considered, this work aims to deepen validity, effectiveness and scope of application of the Italian guidelines with respect to heritage masonry towers. The three evaluation levels proposed by the guidelines are here compared by discussing the seismic risk assessment of a representative masonry tower: the Cugnanesi tower located in San Gimignano (Italy). The results show that global failure modes due to local stress concentrations cannot be identified if only simplified static and kinematic analyses are performed. Detailed global analyses are in fact generally needed for a reliable prediction of the seismic performance of such structures.



Original Research, Heritage masonry tower, Seismic risk assessment, Non-linear static analysis, Italian guidelines, Finite element modelling, Non-isolated masonry towers

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Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

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Springer Netherlands
Tuscany Regional Administration (Theme PAR FAS 2007–2013—CIPE n°166/2007—line 1.1.a.3)