75458 - Materials and Technologies for Historic Buildings M

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the class, student has knowledge of the evolution of both the historic materials and construction techniques and the repair methods, especially focusing on stone, wood and masonry. In particular, at the end of the course he/she is able to specify a set of criteria useful to ensure that the materials selected for conservation and rehabilitation are best suited to the needs of each building in terms of safety, efficiency, compatibility and cost effectiveness, as a palette of variables that the design must manage simultaneously.

Course contents

1.       Introduction: rehabilitation, repair and maintenance processes for historic buildings. Performance-based building design for historic buildings.

2.       Historic Construction Materials and Techniques.

a.       Timber structures: wood properties, structural timber.

b.      Stone and brick masonry: stone masonry, brick masonry, masonry mortar.

c.       Construction technologies and structural elements: foundations, walls, piers and columns, beams and trusses, arches and vaults.

3.       Building pathology.

a.       Building pathology definition. Defect, failure and anomaly.

b.      Causes of decay in materials and structure: climatic causes, earthquakes, biological causes, man-made causes. Investigation process. Methodology of investigation. Diagnostic process. Cause determination and origins.  Diagnostic aids. Diagnostics chart and matrices. Fault trees. Diagnostic system for non-destructive surveys of building constructions.

c.      Cases of failures. Defects information sheets. Review of failures and defects.

4.       Repair techniques:

a.       Rehabilitation project building site: temporary works, scaffolding, drilling works, grouting.

b.      Stone and bricks masonry retrofitting.

c.       Structural timber repairs.

5.       Facility Management & cost control

a.       Maintenance process of historic buildings.

b.      Cost control of rehabilitation projects.

c.       Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCC).


Class notes (available on the AMS campus unibo web site: https://campus.unibo.it)

Augustin M. (EDT) (2008) “Handbook 1 Timber Structures” Leonardo Pilot Projects

CIB W023 Commission (2010) “Guide for the structural rehabilitation of Heritage Buildings” CIB pub. 335

Croci, G. (1998) “The conservation and structural restoration of architectural Heritage”, Computational Mechanics Publications, Southampton UK.

Feilden B. (1982) “Conservation of Historic Buildings” Elsevier

Hendry, A.W., Sinha B.P., Davies S.R. (2004) “Design of Masonry Structures” E & F Spoon

Klingner R.E. (2010) Masonry Structural Design” Mac-Graw Hill

Syngellakis S. (EDT) (2013) “Retrofitting of Heritage Structures” Ed. Computational Mechanics.


Teaching methods

The course content will be entirely covered by lectures.

Mandatory homework / project work will deepen course topics, students can have support from the computer laboratory of the faculty.

Assessment methods

Final exam: written and oral examinations are mandatory.

Homework will be evaluated and discussed in final exam.

Teaching tools

The teaching tools are projector and PC.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Marco Alvise Bragadin