Seismic vulnerability assessment of masonry facade walls: development, application and validation of a new scoring method

  • Ferreira, Tiago M. (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Aveiro) ;
  • Vicentea, Romeu (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Aveiro) ;
  • Varum, Humberto (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Aveiro)
  • Received : 2013.05.10
  • Accepted : 2014.03.24
  • Published : 2014.05.25


This paper approaches the issue of seismic vulnerability assessment strategies for facade walls of traditional masonry buildings through the development of a methodology and its subsequent application to over 600 building facades from the old building stock of the historic city centre of Coimbra. Using the post-earthquake damage assessment of masonry buildings in L'Aquila, Italy, an analytical function was developed and calibrated to estimate the mean damage grade for masonry facade walls. Having defined the vulnerability function for facade walls, damage scenarios were calculated and subsequently used in the development of an emergency planning tool and in the elaboration of an access route proposal for the case study of the historic city centre of Coimbra. Finally, the methodology was pre-validated through the comparison of a set of results obtained from its application and also resourcing to a widely accepted mechanical method on the description of the out-of-plane behaviour of facade walls.



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