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Advances in Civil Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6819546, 15 pages
Research Article

Structural Characterization of an Historical Building by Means of Experimental Tests on Full-Scale Elements

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering (DICAM), University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento, 2-40136 Bologna, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Marco Bovo

Received 1 August 2017; Accepted 3 October 2017; Published 19 December 2017

Academic Editor: Pier Paolo Rossi

Copyright © 2017 Marco Bovo 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.


In order to properly design strengthening intervention of existing buildings, careful assessment of the structural behavior is certainly required. This is particularly important when dealing with historical constructions made of heterogeneous materials like masonry or stonework. In this context, this paper presents the results of knowledge process on a large monumental nineteenth century building located in Trieste. The traditional investigation approach considering a wide number of destructive tests for characterization of materials and evaluation of the structural details were not admissible due to the valuable cultural and historical importance of the building. Therefore, an alternative and not conventional investigation approach has been considered. After a wide historical research and a detailed structural survey, it has been possible to identify the main structural systems of the building. Then, to characterize the structural response, a limited number of nondestructive tests but on full-scale typological systems have been preferred to a larger number of destructive tests on specimens of the different materials. The selected experimental load tests have been conducted in order to assess the actual structural response of the main systems that constitute the building, thus allowing for a fine tuning of both the rehabilitation interventions and the numerical finite element models.