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CODE 98107
LANGUAGE Italian (English on demand)
SEMESTER 1° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:


The module of the integrated course, offered to the students of the Master Degree Courses in Architecture and in Engineering for Building Retrofitting, provides the theoretical-methodological and technical knowledge to be able to face a project of renovation, refurbishment, maintenance, consolidation of traditional architectures in load-bearing masonry, belonging to the building tradition. In particular, the module is dedicated to the analysis and understanding of traditional construction techniques, structural concepts of ancient buildings and technological problems that most frequently occur related to abandonment, neglect, external phenomena. To the examination of the problems and of the causes and concomitant causes that have provoked them are associated the information related to the different diagnostic techniques and of intervention for the solution of the problems of degradation and instability more frequently found.



As part of the general objectives of teaching, the module deepens the knowledge of the principles and constructive rules, of the pathologies, of the phenomena of deterioration and of the deficits of traditional constructions in load-bearing masonry, as well as of their energetic behavior and possible recovery techniques. and consolidation.


The module provides the specialized knowledge to intervene on traditional buildings in load-bearing masonry affected by problems of decay, structural failure and performance deficits. Such knowledge is also necessary to correctly set up any new intervention that interferes with existing structures.

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

- Describe and graphically represent, albeit schematically, the construction characteristics of historic buildings, with particular attention to load-bearing elevation structures and roofing systems, windows and doors, and floor finishes.

- Recognize and correctly describe the forms of degradation, disruption and functional deficits that affect existing buildings.

- Identify the causes and concomitant causes that have caused them.

- Select the main techniques of maintenance, rehabilitation, consolidation, upgrading and energy improvement of buildings and their component parts.

- Correctly set design problems by applying the knowledge acquired.

- Manage social interactions within groups and communicate in a constructive way;

- Communicate efficiently using a variety of sources and media.

In connection with the above, the teaching intends to compete for the following Open Badge "Social Competence - Advanced Level."


The module is mainly articulated in lectures, possibly integrated with external seminars, visits and inspections, also in collaboration with other courses of the Master’s Degree Course and the School of Specialization in Architectural Heritage and Landscape of the University of Genoa. Virtual tours may be used, where the health situation does not allow physical participation in an inspection. The second part of the course involves the use of virtual tours and group exercises on case studies to simulate real project settings. The teaching will be delivered in English and/or in English and Italian.


The lessons deal with the following basic topics:

1) Traditional constructions in load-bearing masonry based on local resources. Analysis of the structural conception, reading at the global scale. Identification of problems of deterioration and instability of the wall box. Setting the possible interventions.

2) Materials and construction techniques in load-bearing masonry buildings: Walls, floors, vaults, floors, stairs, roofing. Analysis of construction techniques and performance characteristics, reading of the prevailing phenomena of deterioration / instability and the related causes and consequences, examination of the related intervention techniques.

3) Energy efficiency in historic buildings: technical problems and architectural and landscape compatibility.

The examination of technical topics is framed within wider cultural horizons, even taking recent projects and achievements for example.



P. Roca; P.B. Lourenco; A. Gaetani (2019).  Historic Construction and Conservation. Materials, Systems and Damage, Routledge. The book is available in the Polytechnic School Library. Study in particular:

Chapter 1 – Modern understanding of conservation and of heritage structures (all).

Chapter 3 – Construction materials and main structural elements (3.1, 3.2)

Chapter 4 – Vaulted structures in history and modern structural solutions (4.1, 4.2)

Chapter 5 – Ancient sizing rules and limit analysis of masonry arches (5.1)

Chapter 6 – Damage and collapse mechanisms in masonry buildings (6.1, 6.2)

Any other teaching materials in English will be made available in the aulaweb.



Exam Board


MARTA CASANOVA (President Substitute)


Class schedule

The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



The evaluation of learning takes place with a final oral exam, during which students can use simple graphic elaborations that help them to correctly explain technical topics. Students can also be asked to answer specific questions that arise from the observation of documentary material provided by the teacher (photographs, drawings, videos).


The oral exam allows to verify the ability to analyse and understand the pathologies and the problems of degradation and deficit that affect traditional buildings, in order to correctly set up projects of recovery.

They constitute parameters of evaluation of the exam:

- the ability to set up a critical reasoning related to the state of conservation of an entire building or its parts, starting from the recognition of construction techniques and the structural role of the different components;

- ownership of the technical vocabulary regarding materials, working and laying techniques, phenomena of degradation or structural failure;

- the ability to set a design problem (maintenance, conservation or consolidation, in general improvement) and to choose the most appropriate ways of intervention;

- the ability to identify possible ways of transformation compatible with the conservation of historical-architectural and material values.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
09/01/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
30/01/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
15/02/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
15/02/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
04/06/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
25/06/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
16/07/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
10/09/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale


 PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A
PRO3 - Soft skills - Sociale avanzato 1 - A