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First semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

Knowledge and understanding capabilities:
At the end of the course, the student will have a wide and critical view on the methods and techniques for the knowledge of the structures composing the historical architectural heritage and of its conservation status, as well as of the instruments for its restoration and strengthening, in connection with the current cultural debate.

At the end of the course the student will be able to identify all the metrological, material, structural, pathological aspects which characterize the structures of a historical building and to assume the mas a base for the design of its restoration and strengthening.

Independent judgment:
The student will have to develop the capability of evaluating critically, also through suitable structural analyses, the stability of a historical building, identifying the most suitable techniques for the specific case, looking for an equilibrium between conservation, safety and functionality. Moreover, the student will be able to interpret and assess the quality of any restoration and strengthening design.

Communication skills:
During the course, the student will improve its correctness of speech, with specific reference to the technical terms of restoration, in order to communicate in an effective and precise way a restoration design.

Learning ability:
The materials and the techniques for the restoration and strengthening of historical buildings change continuously. Therefore the student must be able to select, once the problem has been identified, the most suitable intervention, even evaluating options not specifically explained during the course.


The basic knowledge of restoration theory and construction characteristics of historical buildings are taken for granted in the course.
It is also useful to have attended the course of Structural Mechanics (Tecnica delle Costruzioni), as we take for granted some basic topics such as the evaluation of actions on buildings and the design of structural elements.
Finally, it is necessary to have knowledge of CAD programs (Autocad type), spreadsheets (Excel type) and multimedia presentations (e.g. Powerpoint).

Course contents summary

The course is organized in two modules: one regards the general issues of architectural restoration and the strengthening and seismic protection of historical structures (restoration and strengthening); the other module is focused on the issues of quantitative assessment of the structural safety of existing buildings (assessment of structural safety).
Both modules include a theoretical part and an applied one.
A far as the detailed issues faced by the two modules are regarded, you can refer to the specific programs.
The applied part foresees the conservation, restoration and strengthening design of a real historical building (not necessarily enlisted). In the first period, the students will make surveys (divided in groups) on their case studies, in order to acquire the knowledge level needed to define the interventions, later designed in detail, in order to simulate realistically an actual design process.

Recommended readings

Suggested books:
- Angelo Gaetani, Pere Roca; Paulo B. Lourenço; “Historic Construction and Conservation”. Taylor & Francis, 2019.
- Micheal Forsyth (ed.) “Structures and construction in historic building conservation”, Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
- ICOMOS/ISCARSAH “Recommendations for the analysis, conservation and structural restoration of architectural heritage” (available on elly2020 platform)
- “Linee guida per la valutazione e la riduzione del rischio sismico del patrimonio culturale” (downloadable at the sit of Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali:
Research books:
- AA.VV, Manuale del Restauro Architettonico, Mancosu editore, Roma 2001.
- - Lorenzo Jurina “Vivere il monumento – Conservazione e novità”, Spirali, Milano, 2006
- E. Coïsson “Riduzione del rischio sismico degli edifici storici in muratura”, Maggioli, 2019
- S. Mastrodicasa, Dissesti statici delle strutture edilizie, Hoepli, Milano 1989
- A. Giuffrè, Letture sulla meccanica delle murature storiche, Roma, 1988.
- E. Benvenuto, La scienza delle costruzioni e il suo sviluppo storico, Sansoni, Firenze 1991.
- Giuriani Ezio, Consolidamento Edifici Storici, Utet Tecnico, 2012, ISBN: 9788859807636
- G. Tampone, M. Mannucci, N. Macchioni, Strutture di legno: Cultura, conservazione, restauro, Edizioni De Lettera, Milano 2002.

More didactic material (AVAILABLE ON THE COURSE’S WEB SITE):
Course slides

Teaching methods

The course consists of a series of frontal lessons, also with the help of Powerpoint presentations, and reviews of the project. The lectures will take place in the classroom and will be broadcasted in streaming on the Teams platform
During the course, also some seminars with external lecturers will be held, to inspect more deeply specific issues. These seminars could also take place only on line.
For the project, students will be divided into groups of 2-4 people. Each group will develop the project of restoration and consolidation of a historic building, with particular reference to its structural aspects, and will be followed by the teacher through a series of revisions during the course. The reviews are carried out in the classroom in groups, by analysing the material prepared by the students.

Assessment methods and criteria

During the year, common reviews are planned, in which the students present their case studies to their colleagues and teachers: these intermediate moments of audit, although they have no direct connection with the final mark, are still essential to demonstrate the successful attendance of the course and contribute to develop the required communication competences.

The acquisition verification of the integrated course of "Analysis and conservation of existing structures" will take place individually in oral form and will consist of:
1) discussion of the project (1/3), which must be given to the teachers before the exam date
2. oral examination on the entire program carried out during the year, relating to:
- theoretical part of consolidation (Restoration and Consolidation module): 1/3 of the total mark;
- Theoretical part of the structural safety assessment (Structural safety assessment module): 1/3 of the total mark.
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.