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CODE 97204
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


The course focuses on the safety assessment of existing buildings including also the main aspects related to soil-structure interaction phenomena that occur in the built environment.

Among various structural types, particular attention will be devoted in the course to existing masonry and reinforced concrete structures investigating their vulnerability factors to ordinary and seismic actions and the more appropriate methods to check their safety. Moreover, as far the geotecnichal module concerns, in addition to specific issues dealing with the types of foundation also those related to external and natural causes (e.g. slope movements, soil liquefaction, groundwater oscillations, subsidence, etc.) and anthropogenic (e .g. deep excavations, shallow tunnels, etc.) will be examined. 



The course deals with the safety assessment of existing buildings. Differently from the perspective of design of new constructions, the behavior of the structure is unknown at the beginning of the analysis requiring effective procedures to face the problem of such incomplete knowledge that involves both aleatory and epistemic (e.g. related to the effectiveness of structural details) uncertainties. The course faces both issues related, on the one hand, to the diagnosis to ordinary actions and, on the other, to the prevention against rare events. The wide variety of behaviors that characterize no standardized existing buildings makes more conventional the use of methods of analysis quite common in the design of new structures, such as the linear ones. For this reason, the course devotes large attention to the nonlinear static procedures. Finally, among rare actions, since existing buildings have been often conceived without specific rules for the seismic action, such vulnerability constitutes one of most relevant which the course focuses to, with particular attention to both masonry and reinforced concrete structures.


At the end of the course, the student is expected:

- to be able to design/set a knowledge plan of the existing structure under examination, that is: to define the most appropriate investigation tecniques to be adotped; to define the number of test to be performed and select where carry out them; to establish the mechanical parameters to be adopted in the final assessment; to address the choices on the modelling (about both the epistemic and aleatory uncertainties)

- to be able to recognize the most relevant vulnerability factors of existing buildings, with reference to both reinforced concrete structures and masonry strucutures

- to be able to proceed with the safety verification of the existing structure, with particular reference to ordinary loads and the seismic action


Frontal lessons. The slides are provided before the lessons. 

Moreover, two exercises carried out in class with the supervision of the teacher are usually carried out. One addressed to have a practical example of the modelling of a simple unreinforced masonry building according to the equivalent frame apprroach, the other to apply the principles of the nonlinear kinematic analysis.

Working students or with DSA certificate or other specific requirements may contact the teacher at the beginning of the course in order to agree on the teaching methods and exam for accounting of specific necessary individual teaching methods.



- Knowledge phase. Epistemic and aleatory uncertainties. Factors to be investigated (material properties, structural details, geometry, hystorical analysis). Knowledge levels and confidence factors according to national and international codes. Investigation tecniques. Sensitivity analysis.

- Basic of the seismic performance-based assessment.

- Masonry existing buildings. Verification criteria to ordinary loads. Seismic response according to the in-plane and out-of-plane response. Capacity models for assessing the in-plane response of masonry panels (strength criteria, drift limits). Nonlinear static analyses and modelling criteria (with particular reference to the equivalent frame models). Kinematic approach for assessing the out-of-plane response.

-Reinforced concrete existing buildings. Vulnerability factors to the seismic actions (irregularities, role of infills, frame designed only to gravity loads). Capacity models for existing elements (shear models, ultimate chord rotation). Performance M-N domain. Basics principles of the SLAMA method to evaluate the capacity curve.


All the text of national and international codes are provided to the students (Italian code, Eurocode 8-3, ASCE 41-13, NZSEE 2017)

Moreover, several journal papers and book chapters are provided to the students to deepend the various contents examined during the lessons. These documents are updated every year in order to be up-to-date with the most advanced scientific research.


Exam Board




SERENA CATTARI (President Substitute)


Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



Only oral. The exam consists of a minimum of three questions. One on the first part of the course that deals with the knowledge phase, one on the response of unreinforced masonry buildings, and the third on the response of reinforced concrete buildings.

The final score assigned will be computed as the average between the scores attributes by the two moduli which compose the course.


The oral exam will be evaluated on basis of the following criteria:

  • capacity to critically discuss and illustrate the contents learned during classes
  • capacity to express the contents with clarity and precision of terminology
  • capacity to critically apply to the practical examples or exercises proposed during the exam the theoretical contents learned during classes. The practical examples proposed will deal with typical configurations of URM or Reinforced Concrete existing buildings
  • capacity in recognizing the typical vulnerability factors of existing URM or Reinforced Concrete existing buildings, among those discussed in class

The same criteria are applied to students both attending or not attending the classes in person.

The final score assigned will be computed as the average between the scores attributes by the two moduli which compose the course.

Exam schedule

Data appello Orario Luogo Degree type Note
12/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
09/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
21/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
26/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Orale

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
Sustainable cities and communities
Sustainable cities and communities