The World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) Report Database contains 130 reports on housing construction types in 43 seismically active countries. Each housing report is a detailed description of a housing type in a particular country. The description is prepared from a number of standard closed-ended questions and some narrative that have been provided by report authors. Each report has five major categories including architectural and structural features; Building Materials and Construction Process; Socio-economic Issues; Past Performance In Earthquakes, Seismic Features and Vulnerability; and Retrofit. All of the housing reports in this database have been contributed by volunteers. If you are interested in writing a housing report please contact the WHE Editorial Board.


The World Housing Encyclopedia (WHE) is a collection of resources related to housing construction practices in the seismically active areas of the world. The mission is to share experiences with different construction types and encourage the use of earthquake-resistant technologies worldwide. The technical activities of the WHE are steered by an international team of 22 professionals specializing in different aspects of seismic safety of buildings and structures. They bring relevant experience from 16 seismically active countries across the world. For more information about the World Housing Encyclopedia, visit

General Information


Report #:92
Building Type: Historic, braced frame timber buildings with masonry infill ('Pombalino' buildings)
Country: Portugal
Author(s): Rafaela Cardoso
Mario Lopes
Rita Bento
Dina D'Ayala
Last Updated:
Regions Where Found: This type of housing construction is commonly found in urban areas. Buildingsof this construction type can be found in downtown Lisbon, in the area near theTagus River known as Baixa. This type of building can be found elsewhere inLisbon and in other urban areas in Portugal also destroyed in 1755, such asVila Real de Santo Antonio in Algarve (in the southern part of Portugal).Because of its historical relevance, the building example described in this workis from Baixa.

Pombalino buildings (see Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4) are ...

Length of time practiced: More than 200 years
Still Practiced: No
In practice as of:
Building Occupancy: Residential, 5-9 unitsMixed residential/commercial
Typical number of stories: 4-5
Terrain-Flat: Typically
Terrain-Sloped: Never
Comments: As time has passed, construction practices have changed and timber elements have progressively fallen into disuse in the three-d





Plan Shape Rectangular, solid
Additional comments on plan shape A Pombalino building's plan is compact with a rectangular or nearly rectangular shape with symmetrical configuration (see figure 6). There are no isolated buildings as they are part of an urban block which is alsosymmetrical and with a rectangular plan shape (see Figure 7). A typical block has 7 to 8 buildings, usually a building at each corner and one on each side. Each block has a size of 70x25 m while the streets have width ranging from 5 to 20 m. The interior of each block includes a very small courtyard accessed only by the doors of the back faade.
Typical plan length (meters) 8-16
Typical plan width (meters) 10-12
Typical story height (meters) 3.5-4
Type of Structural System Other: Hybrid Systems: Other
Additional comments on structural system The vertical load-resisting system is stone masonry walls. Single leaf, irregular block, stone masonry walls. Masonry vaults at the ground floor, with ceramic regular blocks and stone arches (see Figure 11). Usually, the wall thickness ofthe Pombalino buildings varies from 1.0 to 1.2 meters and is the same for all floors. The Pombalino buildings built towards the end of the nineteenth century may present two or three different wall thicknesses. The usual changes areobserved between the ground floor (1.0 to 1.2m) and the first floor (0.8 to 1.0m), and between the upper two floors. The thickness of the top floor may vary between 0.5 and 0.8m.The lateral load-resisting system is stone masonry walls. Masonry walls and a three-dimensional wood frame structure (gaiola) above the first floor, double braced with diagonal timber elements (see Figures 8, 9 and 10), form thelateral load-resisting system. The timber elements are notched together or connected by iron or metal ties, according to historical information about the construction techniques. The results of experimental tests performed on Pombalino panels, and of tests performed on masonry panels without diagonal bracing (Alvarez, 2000 and Lopes, 1986) showed that the gaiola exhibits ductile behavior and allows some energy dissipation. Connections between the timberelements, which sometimes include metallic (iron) elements, probably contribute to the observed ductile behavior. These results may be extrapolated to the performance of the entire structure. According to the construction process(first the entire gaiola was built, then the masonry infill and the exterior walls), there are reasons to believe that interior timber frames are connected to floor elements but these connections must be better characterized. The connections of interior timber frames between stories must also be better characterized.
Gravity load-bearing & lateral load-resisting systems The structural system can be divided into the ground floor system (masonry walls and vaults) and the gaiola system (wooden interior walls) of the floors above the first floor, described as follows: The ground to first floor level is comprised of stone masonry columns supporting stone arches and clay brickwork vaults (see Figure 11). Interior walls above the first floor are part of the gaiola. Masonry infill can be stone or clay bricks like those used at the ground floor vaults. It is usual to find both types of masonry in internal walls (see Figure 10). For the first buildings built after theearthquake, there are reasons to believe that the masonry used was rubble recycled from destroyed buildings. Otherinternal partitions are the wooden panels without structural function. Exterior walls (facades and walls betweenadjacent buildings) are stone masonry in lime mortar. Stone masonry walls (ground floor)and wooden frame withmasonry infill (floors above the first floor).
Typical wall densities in direction 1 >20%
Typical wall densities in direction 2 5-10%
Additional comments on typical wall densities Typical wall density is between 20% and 24% (both ground floor and floors above). Direction parallel to facades: 14% (ground floor) and 18% (other floors ) Direction perpendicular to facades: 10% (ground floor) and 6% (other floors) All values relate to the plan area of the floor. Measurements were made considering only masonry and gaiola walls. Wall interior doors are included. The stone arches and masonry vaults at ground floor level support the interior walls of the floors above and therefore the wall density at ground floor level is smaller than at other floors.
Wall Openings First floor openings are all of the same type (either doors with balconies or windows), depending on the importance of the street onto which the facade opens. Windows comprise the openings of the other floors. The eaves of the roof also include openings and these might be doors orsmall windows. The original plan called for the same dimensions and horizontal spacing of the openings for all Pombalino buildings. Main facades present a regular opening grid with clearly identified masonry piers and spandrels.The number of openings in each building or on each floor varies from 3 to 6 and depends on the area of the buildingplan. If the main facade of an original building has 6 openings, approximately 26% of the overall area is for windows and 38% of the overall wall surface area is utilized for doors, measured at the floor above ground level. At the ground floor level of the same original building, the overall door area is 50% of the overall wall surface area. To prevent firepropagation between buildings, which was one of the main causes of death in the 1755 earthquake, the masonry walls between adjoining buildings have no openings and extend beyond the roofs.
Is it typical for buildings of this type to have common walls with adjacent buildings? Yes
Modifications of buildings The most common modification of Pombalino buildings is the addition of bathrooms. If the floors above ground are used for residences, typically the kitchen has been altered to provide for running water. It is also common toobserve the insertion of larger shop windows on the ground floor, which sometimes demolishes all vertical masonry elements in the facades. Behind the buildings, the area at the ground floor level, once used as internal courtyards and free space, has been taken over by shops for their expansion needs. The most common adaptation of the old buildings for their new function is the introduction of elevators and new stairs and the demolition of interior walls (atground floor and at floors above). The introduction of at least one floor at the top of the building is also common.
Type of Foundation Deep Foundation: Wood piles
Additional comments on foundation It consists of wood piles. Masonry placed over a grid of connected timber piles (see Figure 12). Timber piles are very short (generally less than 5 meters), and mobilize only lateral resistance because soil with good strength capacity isusually found at a depth of 15 meters or more. Pile diameter is small (25 cm) and piles form a regular mesh. Piles were completely under water but the current water level is becoming lower and some piles are degraded. There is no evidence of foundation soil instability and some authors maintain that pile degradation is no longer important tofoundation strength capacity because the timber mesh acted as soil reinforcement at the time of construction. Baixawas rebuilt over rubble from collapsed buildings during the 1755 earthquake and the timber grid of piles would be agood measure to provide compaction. However, this is still an object of discussion and controversy.
Type of Floor System Plywood panels or other light-weight panels for floor
Additional comments on floor system Wood floors can be considered as a flexible diaphragm. The roof timber structure depends on the top floor of the building because it may include windows openings within the timber frame.
Type of Roof System Roof system, other
Additional comments on roof system The number of pitches of the roof depends on the kind of window, which is associated with construction practices at the time the building was built.Connections between timber elements and masonry walls may have metallic elements like anchors. In the absence of these elements, connection forces are transmitted only by friction effect. The characteristics of the connection must be analyzed case by case.
Additional comments section 2


Building Materials and Construction Process



Description of Building Materials

Structural Element Building Material (s)Comment (s)
Wall/Frame Irregular blocks of calcareous masonryset in lime mortarLow tensile and shear strength characteristics,values not know n precisely(see Cardoso et al., 2001)
Foundations Short and small diameter timber piles(pine)Strength values not known(see Alvarez, 2000)
Floors Timber elements (pine and oak)Strength values not known
Roof Timber elements (pine and oak)Strength values not known

Design Process

Who is involved with the design process? EngineerArchitect
Roles of those involved in the design process Engineers and architects had a very important role in planning thereconstruction of the city. The plans included not only the new urban layout butalso functional and architectural aspects. Structural features were alsoexamined and seismic considerations were a main concern as the introductionof the gaiola in these buildings shows.
Expertise of those involved in the design process The idea of using timber frames for the gaiola and for the connections betweentimber elements was inspired by ship construction, in which the Portuguese hadgreat expertise.

Construction Process

Who typically builds this construction type? Builder
Roles of those involved in the building process See details at Lopes at al. (2013)
Expertise of those involved in building process
Construction process and phasing Due to time constraints, the construction process was highly organized. The gaiola and the entire wood structure were built first, then the masonry infill was placed at the same time as the exterior masonry walls were constructed. Finally,windows and doors stones were placed with the finishing work. This sequence allowed different specialists (carpenters and masonry workers) to do their jobs without interference. The construction of this type of housing takes placeincrementally over time. Typically, the building is originally not designed for its final constructed size. The reconstruction of Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake was slow due to financial and economic constraints, and it is likely that buildings in the same urban block might have been built in different years. The time gap in the construction of individual buildings may explain some of the observed architectonic variances, as seen in the roof structure and lighting for the stair wells, for example. Very often an extra floor was built at the same time as the rest of the building.
Construction issues

Building Codes and Standards

Is this construction type address by codes/standards? Yes
Applicable codes or standards A written document has never been found but construction rules were practiced and transmitted between carpenters and masonry workers so it is assumed that there was a code of practice. The year the first code/standard addressing this type of construction issued was1755-1758. There is no mention of regulations for this type of construction in modern building codes or seismic codes.
Process for building code enforcement Beginning in 1758 and during the Marqus de Pombal's governance, the penalty for failing to follow construction rules was the demolition of the building by order of the king.

Building Permits and Development Control Rules

Are building permits required? Yes
Is this typically informal construction? No
Is this construction typically authorized as per development control rules? Yes
Additional comments on building permits and development control rules Historical information indicates that the owners of the buildings which collapsed during the 1755 earthquake contracted builders, who supervised the construction. They had to respect all rules imposed by the Marqus de Pombal. Engineers and architects established these rules.

Building Maintenance and Condition

Typical problems associated with this type of construction Water ingress trough the roof system can be found in some buildings.
Who typically maintains buildings of this type? Owner(s)Renter(s)No oneOther
Additional comments on maintenance and building condition See the sections corresponding to Socio-Economic Issues.

Construction Economics

Unit construction cost Since this is a construction method that is no longer practiced, values for construction costs are not available. The actual commercial value of Pombalino buildings varies and depends on whether they have been abandoned or upon how difficult it would be to get authorization to perform structural/functional changes: if the building still maintains its original structure and use, the approximate cost may be from 400 to 450 euro/m2 depending on the level of deterioration. If the building has been refurbished, the value depends on its current use. For residential use, values ranging from 1000 to 2500 euro/m2 are usually quoted. Commercial values are not related to construction values. Infact, Baixa is located in the most central part of Lisbon and this justifies the high prices quoted.
Labor requirements This information is not available.
Additional comments section 3


Socio-Economic Issues



Patterns of occupancy One family occupies one housing unit.Each building typically has 3 to 4 or 6 to 8 housing unit(s). There are 1 or 2 units per floor on above ground floors. The number of units may depend on the area of thebuilding plan: there is only one unit per floor if the number of windows is less than 4; if the number of windows ismore than 4, there can be two units per floor.
Number of inhabitants in a typical building of this construction type during the day >20
Number of inhabitants in a typical building of this construction type during the evening/night >20
Additional comments on number of inhabitants The number of inhabitants in a building during the day or businesshours is more than 20. The number of inhabitants during the evening and night is less than 5. Some buildings belong to companies and banks and all floors have been adapted to new functions. In such cases, the number of inhabitants varies from a high number during business hours (40 to 50 workers and clients/costumers), to a smallnumber of inhabitants (mainly security people, less than 5) at night. If buildings were converted into commercialoutlets, occupancy might be as high as 200 people depending on time of day and the season.
Economic level of inhabitants Very low-income class (very poor)High-income class (rich)
Additional comments on economic level of inhabitants Most of the residential occupants are very poor old people who have lived in the same house their entire life. Whenthe last resident dies, the building may be abandoned or sold. The housing units are rented at low prices due tohousing rent legislation that has not been revised for more than 40 years. Because of low rent rates, these buildingshave been very poorly maintained and are often in need of rehabilitation work. Lisbon's City Council has specificprograms to finance rehabilitation work and these are being gradually applied throughout the city. The rehabilitationof recently purchased buildings depends of the new owners. Building functions may change but, where residential useis maintained, housing units are adapted to provide good conditions and then rented or sold to wealthy tenants orowners.
Typical Source of Financing Small lending institutions/microfinance institutionsCommercial banks/mortgagesInvestment pools
Additional comments on financing Originally, mainly financed by private developers, perhaps with some governmental contribution. Presently, most ofthe work for rehabilitation and reuse are financed by banks or by the owners. The nature and cost of the work dependsof the intended use of the building. Small lending institutions and microfinance institutions finance the work of smalloffices and the rehabilitation of residential rented units. If the building is going to be adapted for companies or forcompletely new apartments, refurbishment is more expensive and financed by commercial banks and mortgagelenders. There is a large variation in the costs depending on the degree of intervention: they can vary from 75euros/m2for small interventions (wall painting and repair, waterproofing), to 400euros/m2 for other kind of interventions(floors replacement, bathrooms and other refurbishment). These prices do not include structural interventions, whichare more expensive.
Type of Ownership RentOwn with debt (mortgage or other)Units owned individually (condominium)Owned by group or poolLong-term lease
Additional comments on ownership Buildings adapted for banks and for other organizations that occupy entire buildings are owned by a group or pool. Ground floor shops are usually held by long-term lease. Commercial functions at the ground floor sometimes occupy the first floor. The floors above are residential units or small service offices (doctors, lawyers, specialized shops, etc), rented or owned individually.
Is earthquake insurance for this construction type typically available? Yes
What does earthquake insurance typically cover/cost For seismically strengthened existing buildings or new buildings incorporating seismically resilient features, an insurance premium discount or morecomplete coverage is unavailable. Until 2001, earthquake insurance was available. Now companies avoid this type of insurance, but this may be a temporary situation caused by the redefinition of policy in this sector. It is part of a group of risks related to housing that optionally may cover damage caused by earthquakes. Insurance cost depends on seismic zone, age, and the number of stories in a building.
Are premium discounts or higher coverages available for seismically strengthened buildings or new buildings built to incorporate seismically resistant features? No
Additional comments on premium discounts
Additional comments section 4





Past Earthquakes in the country which affected buildings of this type

YearEarthquake Epicenter Richter Magnitude Maximum Intensity
185637.10 -10.50 (Atlantic Ocean, Southw est of Portugal)
190938.95 -8.82 (Benavente (Centre of Portugal)
196935.99 -10.81 (Atlantic Ocean, Southw est of Portugal)
7MMI IX (at epicenter)

Past Earthquakes

Damage patterns observed in past earthquakes for this construction type The 1909 earthquake was felt in Lisbon and caused light damage to buildings in Baixa, mainly crack openings and the fall of chimneys and external plaster. The intensity shown in the table for this earthquake is the epicentral one, inBenavente, some 40 km from Lisbon. On the basis of damage observed in Pombalino buildings and in ordinary masonry structures, it is not possible to conclude whether the Pombalino buildings performed better because all theobservable damage was light. For the other earthquakes shown in the table, with epicentres either in continental Portugal or in the Azores Islands, there is no record of significant damage to buildings in Lisbon, due to the longdistance from the epicentre.
Additional comments on earthquake damage patterns -Some crack openingsand fall of externalplaster. No detailedinformation available.In poorly connectedfacades, out-of-planemechanismexpected. (Walls) -Mainly fall ofchimneys. Nodetailed informationavailable. (Roof/Floors)

Structural and Architectural Features for Seismic Resistance

The main reference publication used in developing the statements used in this table is FEMA 310 “Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Buildings-A Pre-standard”, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington, D.C., 1998.

The total width of door and window openings in a wall is: For brick masonry construction in cement mortar : less than ½ of the distance between the adjacent cross walls; For adobe masonry, stone masonry and brick masonry in mud mortar: less than 1/3 of the distance between the adjacent cross walls; For precast concrete wall structures: less than 3/4 of the length of a perimeter wall.
Structural/Architectural Feature Statement Seismic Resistance
Lateral load pathThe structure contains a complete load path for seismic force effects from any horizontal direction that serves to transfer inertial forces from the building to the foundation.TRUE
Building Configuration-VerticalThe building is regular with regards to the elevation. (Specify in 5.4.1)TRUE
Building Configuration-HorizontalThe building is regular with regards to the plan. (Specify in 5.4.2)TRUE
Roof ConstructionThe roof diaphragm is considered to be rigid and it is expected that the roof structure will maintain its integrity, i.e. shape and form, during an earthquake of intensity expected in this area.FALSE
Floor ConstructionThe floor diaphragm(s) are considered to be rigid and it is expected that the floor structure(s) will maintain its integrity during an earthquake of intensity expected in this area.FALSE
Foundation PerformanceThere is no evidence of excessive foundation movement (e.g. settlement) that would affect the integrity or performance of the structure in an earthquake. TRUE
Wall and Frame Structures-RedundancyThe number of lines of walls or frames in each principal direction is greater than or equal to 2.TRUE
Wall ProportionsHeight-to-thickness ratio of the shear walls at each floor level is: Less than 25 (concrete walls); Less than 30 (reinforced masonry walls); Less than 13 (unreinforced masonry walls);TRUE
Foundation-Wall ConnectionVertical load-bearing elements (columns, walls) are attached to the foundations; concrete columns and walls are doweled into the foundation.TRUE
Wall-Roof ConnectionsExterior walls are anchored for out-of-plane seismic effects at each diaphragm level with metal anchors or straps. N/A
Wall OpeningsTRUE
Quality of Building MaterialsQuality of building materials is considered to be adequate per the requirements of national codes and standards (an estimate). FALSE
Quality of WorkmanshipQuality of workmanship (based on visual inspection of a few typical buildings) is considered to be good (per local construction standards).FALSE
MaintenanceBuildings of this type are generally well maintained and there are no visible signs of deterioration of building elements (concrete, steel, timber).FALSE

Additional comments on structural and architectural features for seismic resistance The original conception of the gaiola was to resist seismic actions and this supports the prediction of a good response for this type of building.The ground floor (masonry walls) may be a weak point for the seismic behavior of thesebuildings due to its lower strength due to the absence of the gaiola. The presence and performance of metallic (iron) elements at the connections between timber elements and masonry walls in the roof and floors are not entirely clear. In fact, some cases w ere found w here the connection between timber elements and masonry dependedonly on the length of the joist seat inside the masonry. In that case, the strength of the connection depends only on the frictionbetween the materials and would be smaller if there was a metallic element. The uneven quality of the original masonry or theconstruction of different walls at various times also led to poor strength and stiffness properties. Construction practices were not thesame for buildings built in the same period, which might indicate that the quality of workmanship was not the same. As an example, itis possible to find different geometries of gaiola in the same building and there are several gaps in the connections between timberelements, which may or may not have nails. The quality of workmanship also decreased over time, as the first Pombalino buildingsshow better quality then those built in the nineteenth century. Like all masonry buildings, the presence of large openings reduces thelateral stiffness and load capacity of facades. Another significant uncertainty is how important a role the structural interventions had onbuildings because the exterior may look original but the interior can be completely modified. Removal of internal gaiola walls greatlyincreases the seismic vulnerability of Pombalino buildings.
Vertical irregularities typically found in this construction type Other
Horizontal irregularities typically found in this construction type Other
Seismic deficiency in walls Low resistance to out-of-plane seismic effects (overturning of facades) and collapse of the roof; Low resistance of connections between facades and perpendicular masonry walls due to bad quality of masonry at corners, that can be associated to construction of connected walls at different times; possibility of formation of a global collapse mechanism due to masonry low shear strength; Large openings reduce lateral capacity of facades. Connections between 'gaiola' walls and masonry walls may have low strength connections if there are no metallic elements; timber decay due to water ingress.
Earthquake-resilient features in walls Three-dimensional braced structure that reduces out-of-plane horizontal displacements of facades, contributing to reduced seismic vulnerability ofPombalino buildings; it displays ductile behavior (Cardoso et al, 2005; Kouris etal, 2014).
Seismic deficiency in frames
Earthquake-resilient features in frame
Seismic deficiency in roof and floors Low strength connections between timber elements of roof and floor and masonry walls; timber decay due to water ingress.
Earthquake resilient features in roof and floors A good connection between roof/floor timber elements and masonry walls may reduce seismic vulnerability because they can contribute to reducedout of plane horizontal displacements.
Seismic deficiency in foundation Timber pile damage due to water level changes may cause building settlements.
Earthquake-resilient features in foundation

Seismic Vulnerability Rating

For information about how seismic vulnerability ratings were selected see the Seismic Vulnerability Guidelines

High vulnerabilty Medium vulnerabilityLow vulnerability
Seismic vulnerability class |- o -|

Additional comments section 5 Some buildings may have metallic elements connecting timber elements (roof, floor and 'gaiola') to the facades that arenot visible from the outside because the wall thickness covers them. Each building must be evaluated individually orintegrated in a block of buildings. It is important to consider block behavior in case of relevant stiffness differencesbetween the buildings of the same block (see Ramos and Loureno, 2003 and Silva et al., 2001). Past earthquakes caused only light damage to buildings in Baixa. The damage levels were so small (Baixa was far fromepicentre) that the information was not worth recording.

Retrofit Information



Description of Seismic Strengthening Provisions

Structural Deficiency Seismic Strengthening
Low resistance to out-of-plane seismic effects(overturning of facades) and roof collapse; lowresistance of connections between facades andperpendicular masonry walls due to the bad qualityof the masonry at the connections. Introduction of a concrete or steel beam at the top of the building, connecting the roof to walls (see Figures 13 and 14) and confining masonry. The beam is executed along the whole perimeterof the building. Sometimes, these beams are executed at the skirting board level of all floors above ground floor. Introduction of steel elements or ties (pre-stressed or not), cables, oranchors, connecting parallel masonry walls.
Masonry low shear strength may be critical to shearfailure of the building due to the formation of aglobal collapse mechanism. Introduction of steel mesh, confining masonry structural elements of facades (see Figure 15).
Settlement due to foundation failure Micro piles
Low strength connection between timber elements Use of steel rods and traditional techniques for strengthening timber element connections, suchas the nails and bolts. Use of FRP in the strengthening of timber reinforced masonry loadbearingwalls (see [Cruz et al., 2001]).
Low strength connection between timber elementsand masonry walls Introduction of steel elements, such as ties, which connect timber elements to masonry (seeFigure 16).

Additional comments on seismic strengthening provisions Timber damage due to water ingress, creating favorable conditions for fungi and insect attack. - Substitution or repair of broken tiles and measures to waterproof the roof. Sometimes, connections between roof and facades are also reinforced during repair. Damaged timberelements are removed and replaced with new timber elements of the same geometry.
Has seismic strengthening described in the above table been performed? The usual seismic strengthening technique utilized in design practice is toimprove the connections between the timber elements and the masonry wallsbecause this is easier to perform and is cheaper than the other interventionsmentioned. Another common strengthening technique is the introduction of tieswhich connect the facades and prevent out-of-plane displacements.Usually these techniques are not applied, but recently (mainly after year 2000)awareness has increased and therefore the number of rehabilitation works inwhich these techniques are applied has increased.
Was the work done as a mitigation effort on an undamaged building or as a repair following earthquake damages? When a intervention is going to be done, seismic mitigation should be a concernbut seismic strengthening is not the current practice because of the added costand lack of awareness on the part of owners to seismic risk.
Was the construction inspected in the same manner as new construction? The materials and construction techniques are not the same anymore.Inspection of new construction to evaluate seismic vulnerability follows codeprovisions, whereas inspection of older buildings relies much more on theexpertise of individuals and on professional advice.
Who performed the construction: a contractor or owner/user? Was an architect or engineer involved? At the time of the construction of Pombalino buildings, contractors performedconstruction according to current earthquake technical provisions. At thepresent time, contractors, following engineering advice, usually include someseismic strengthening in the construction. Generally, architects are involvedwhen construction includes not only repair but also modification, which happensin most cases.
What has been the performance of retrofitted buildings of this type in subsequent earthquakes? There is no information available about seismic performance of retrofitted buildings of this type since strong earthquakes have not hit Lisbon since 1755. Some retrofit solutions are being submitted to a homologation processso performance evaluation through laboratory testing is being done. These techniques are recent and there has been no opportunity to confirm their effectiveness. Most of them were developed after observation of damage due to recent earthquakes, such as the 1998 earthquake in Azores, Portugal, and the 1997 earthquake in Umbria, Italy. The results of numerical models of masonry buildings also provided information related to their expected collapse mechanism and they inspired the design of some reinforcement solutions (see Croci, 1988).
Additional comments section 6 The most common construction materials are steel, concrete and pine. Mortar mixes and proportions must be compatible with original materials. Besides the cost, efficiency, and durability of the strengthening solution, the feasibility of removing it from the structure without destruction must also be considered. The complexity level of any intervention is high because demolition is not desirable due to the historical importance of these buildings. Most interventions must be performed in occupied buildings, thus increasing the execution time and complexity. There is little information available about the expected effectiveness of the seismic strengthening provisions listed above.



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Seismic Evaluation Of Old Masonry Buildings. Part I:Method Description And Application To A Case-Study.Cardoso, R., Lopes, M. L., Bento, R.Engineering Structures 27 pp. 20242035, 2005.(

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Name Title Affiliation Location Email
Rafaela Cardoso Professor Dept. of Civil Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico Av Rovisco Pais 1, Lisboa 1049-001, PORTUGAL
Mario Lopes Professor Dept. of Civil Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico Av Rovisco Pais 1, Lisboa 1049-001, PORTUGAL
Rita Bento Professor Dept. of Civil Engineering, Instituto Superior Tecnico Av Rovisco Pais 1, Lisboa 1049-001, PORTUGAL
Dina D'Ayala Professor of Structural Engineering University College London, Department of Civil Environmental Engineering, Bath UK


Name Title Affiliation Location Email
Paulo B. Lourenco Associate Professor of Structural Engineering Dept. of Civil Engineering, University of Minho Azurem Guimaraes 4800-058, PORTUGAL