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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 517454, 12 pages
Research Article

Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of a Historical Church: Limit Analysis and Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, v.le Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy

Received 6 May 2013; Accepted 25 June 2013

Academic Editor: John Mander

Copyright © 2013 G. Castellazzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The seismic vulnerability of a historical Basilica church located in Italy is studied by means of limit analysis and nonlinear finite element (FE) analysis. Attention is posed to the failure mechanisms involving the façade of the church and its interaction with the lateral walls. In particular, the limit analysis and the nonlinear FE analysis provide an estimate of the load collapse multiplier of the failure mechanisms. Results obtained from both approaches are in agreement and can support the selection of possible retrofitting measures to decrease the vulnerability of the church under seismic loads.