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Application of seismic design procedures on three modern URM buildings struck by the 2012 Emilia earthquakes: inconsistencies and improvement proposals in the European codes

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Abstract

The seismic performance of three modern unreinforced masonry buildings struck by the earthquake sequence of May 2012 in Emilia (Italy) has been investigated, to define the safety margins and possible critical issues in the seismic design according to the European seismic codes. The selected structures have been redesigned, applying linear and static nonlinear analyses, and verified against collapse according to both Eurocodes 6 and 8 and Italian Norms for Constructions. The design has provided inconsistent results, in particular with the application of Eurocodes, where none of the three buildings fulfilled the safety checks even at very low lateral action, although two of these structures did not attain any visible damage after the events of May 2012. The requirements of the Italian seismic code have provided, at least for static nonlinear analyses, results more in line with the actual seismic response of the buildings. The main issues and some proposals for the improvement of the codified procedures for seismic design of unreinforced masonry buildings are finally discussed.

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Acknowledgements

This research has been carried out at the University of Pavia and EUCENTRE in collaboration with the University of Aachen and SDA-engineering. The authors would like to express their special thanks to eng. Emanuele Bossi, Prof. Christoph Butenweg and Dr Julia Rosin for the excellent cooperation. The authors want also to acknowledge Dr Flavio Mosele (Consorzio Poroton Italia), eng. Dario Mantovanelli (Wienerberger Italia), eng. Giuseppe Gugliotta, eng. Carlo Guidetti and Mr Stefano Contini for their precious help in collecting information on the three buildings. The project was funded by the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Mauerwerks- und Wohnungsbau e.V. (DGFM)” in Berlin, the German Association for Masonry and Housing Construction. The financial support received is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Paolo Morandi.

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Morandi, P., Manzini, C.F. & Magenes, G. Application of seismic design procedures on three modern URM buildings struck by the 2012 Emilia earthquakes: inconsistencies and improvement proposals in the European codes. Bull Earthquake Eng 18, 547–580 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10518-019-00650-z

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Keywords

  • Modern masonry buildings
  • Post-seismic inspections
  • Code requirements
  • Linear and non-linear seismic analyses
  • Inconsistencies in codes
  • Design-improvement proposals