Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Construction Techniques
Second semester
Language of instruction: 


Learning outcomes of the course unit

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, the student will learn the theoretical bases and the fundamental methodologies for the design and verification of the structural elements of a masonry building subjected to static actions. The student will also deepen the study of existing masonry and reinforced concrete buildings, with reference to the different stages of the knowledge process, the most common aspect of vulnerability, as well as the corresponding intervention techniques.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student should acquire all those skills which are the basis of a conscious design of masonry buildings subjected to static actions. The student will also learn the methodological steps of the vulnerability assessment of existing masonry and reinforced concrete buildings, as well as the most common intervention criteria and the consequent technical solutions for the strengthening of the structural elements.

Making judgements:
The student will govern the procedures ruling current design practice and the structural assessment of existing masonry buildings, through a continuous link between theoretical knowledge and practical applications. The student should understand and evaluate in a critical manner the main aspects governing the design and the execution of a new building, as well as the static assessment of an existing structure.

Communication skills: The confidence gained through the connection between theoretical knowledge and practical applications, will allow the student to obtain the necessary skills for results presentation, by adopting an appropriate terminology. The student will be expected to convey the main topics of the course both in oral and written form.

Learning skills:
The student will be able to design the structural elements of a masonry building. The student will be also able to manage the different steps that are necessary for the knowledge of existing masonry and reinforced concrete buildings, for the identification of the most critical aspects of their behavior and for the design of possible interventions.
Finally, the student will be able to deepen its knowledge on structural design topics through an independent consultation of books and scientific journals, so to effectively face up the working experience or undertake further training courses.


The courses of Structural Mechanics, and Structural Engineering are helpful.

Course contents summary

The course deals with the basic principles related to the design of new masonry buildings subjected to static loads, as well as to the assessment of the structural safety of existing masonry and reinforced concrete buildings, by also illustrating the possible strengthening strategies. The contents of the course are listed below:
1. Introduction to masonry structures. Construction techniques and typologies of existing masonry buildings.
2. Mechanical characterization of masonry.
3. Structural behavior of masonry structures and design rules for new buildings; rules for “simple masonry buildings”.
4. Design of masonry walls under static loads: simplified dimensioning. Verification of unreinforced masonry walls subjected to vertical loading. Unreinforced masonry walls subjected to shear loading. Unreinforced masonry walls subjected to combined vertical and lateral loading.
5. Construction techniques of existing diaphragms: reinforced concrete, steel and timber floors.
6. Knowledge of existing buildings: general information and history, dimensional survey, inspection of structural details, simulated design, material testing. Knowledge levels and confidence factors.
7. Vulnerability and damage aspects of existing masonry and reinforced concrete buildings.
8. Restoration and strengthening techniques.

Recommended readings

- Gersi, A., Lenza P. e Calderoni, B., "Edifici in muratura alla luce della nuova normativa sismica", Dario Flaccovio Ed.
- Carbone I.V., Fiore A., Pistone G., "Le costruzioni in muratura", Hoepli.
- Mastrodicasa S., “Dissesti statici delle strutture edilizie”, Hoepli.
- Pisani M.A., “Consolidamento delle strutture”, Hoepli.
- Antonucci A., “Restauro e recupero degli edifici a struttura muraria”, Maggioli.
-Vinci M., “Metodi di calcolo e tecniche di consolidamento per edifici in muratura”, Dario Flaccovio Ed., 2019

The teaching material (Powerpoint slides) is available via the portal elly
The students are strongly recommended to check periodically elly web site.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures. Theoretical concepts will be integrated during the course by classroom exercises, focused on several design examples.
In the event that it won’t be possible to held frontal lectures (in relation to the evolution of the epidemiological situation by COVID-19), lessons will be organized online on Teams platform.

Assessment methods and criteria

The students, forming groups of 2-3 persons, should draw up a technical report on an existing building, by identifying the main structural vulnerabilities and designing the strengthening intervention for some structural elements.
This technical report and the related topics, previously illustrated during the lessons in the classroom, will be discussed with the teacher during the oral examination.
For the students of the degree course, each oral question has a score ranging from 0 to 30; the final examination grade is calculated as the weighted mean of these scores, rounding up. The examination is passed with a final score greater than 18.
For the students of the Master’s degree course, an eligibility is provided in case the course is included in the study plan as a laboratory activity (TAF F), otherwise a final vote expressed out of 30 - according to the criteria already exposed for the students of the degree course – is provided if the course is chosen as optional subject.
The exam will be held in presence. If the sanitary emergency will limit the possibility of exams in presence, the project material will be uploaded on Elly and the oral exam will take place on the Teams platform

Other informations

Being a laboratory, it is preferable to attend the lessons.