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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


This course provides the basic correct methods for studying the structural behaviour of historical buildings.
Models are presented which are able to describe the response of masonry both to service loading and to limit conditions. They provide useful hints when preservation plans or static rehabilitation issues have to be dealt with.
The analysis of test cases which will be presented in the training sessions and personal detailed study of some issues will help students to understand and face the complexity of real-world problems dealing with historical buildings.


A working knowledge of structural issues like those presented in a standard sophomore class of Structural Mechanics/Strength of Materials is required. If necessary, attending the class of "Statica e Scienza delle costruzioni" of the three-years programme in "Scienze dell'Architettura" would help students in filling the gap.


1. Fundamentals of graphical methods for Statics.
2. Mechanical behaviour of masonry as a mixture of mortar and bricks/stone blocks.
3. Masonry walls: in service behaviour and limit analysis.
4. Buckling of slender structures: the case of the masonry pier.
5. Masonry arch as a curved beam: limit analysis and graphical methods for assessing its resistance.
6. Masonry vaults: membrane theory and its application to barrel vaults subjected to vertical loading. Graphical methods for cross and cloister vaults.
7. Masonry domes: applications of the membrane theory of thin shells of revolution.
8. Seismic behaviour of masonry buildings.
9. Settlements-induced damage in masonry.
10. Experimental methods for characterizing mechanical properties of masonry.
11. Rehabilitation of masonry buildings with timber-supported slabs and roofs; use of steel tendons.

Teaching Methods

The course (30 class-hours) will be developed mainly through lectures, with possibly a few seminars held by qualified experts.
Due to the current epidemiological situation, there is the possibility of live streaming lessons or recordings of the same available online.
Exercises could be carried out through remote interaction with the available IT supports

Verification of learning

The final exam will be an oral test. The final mark will be based also (up to 30%) on the exercises or other papers elaborated by students individually or in a small group.


M. Como, Statics of Historic Masonry Constructions, Springer: Berlino, 2013.
A. Giuffrè, Lettura sulla meccanica delle murature storiche, Edizioni Kappa, Roma, 1991.
M. Como, Statica delle costruzioni storiche in muratura, Aracne Editrice, Roma, 2015.
L. Galano, M. Betti, Elementi di statica delle costruzioni storiche in muratura, Società Editrice Esculapio, Bologna, 2019.
R. S. Olivito, Statica e Stabilità delle Costruzioni Murarie, Pitagora: Bologna, 2003.
R. Pozzi, La Statica grafica in architettura – Equilibrio e forma degli archi, Progetto Leonardo, Bologna, 1991.
J. Heyman, The stone skeleton, CUP: Cambridge, 1995.
J. Heyman, The masonry arch, Hellis Horwood Ltd., Chichester, 1982.
C. Tocci e C. Carocci, La struttura muraria dell’edilizia storica. Modelli meccanici elementari, dispensa del corso di “Teoria e tecniche costruttive nel loro sviluppo storico”, tenuto dal prof. A. Giuffrè presso l’Università degli studi di Roma III, a.a. 1993/94.

More Information

Practice exercises: Static analysis, in agreement with the instructor, of construction systems and structural masonry elements of Cagliari’s historic buildings
Copy of the classroom presentations and some extra material for individual study will be available (in PDF format)

Questionnaire and social

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