Seismic assessment of nineteenth and twentieth centuries URM buildings in Lisbon: structural features and derivation of fragility curves

  • A. G. Simões
  • R. BentoEmail author
  • S. Lagomarsino
  • S. Cattari
  • P. B. Lourenço
S.I. : 10th IMC conference


The article addresses the seismic vulnerability assessment of a typology of unreinforced masonry buildings constructed in Lisbon between the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. The main architectural and structural features of these buildings are presented. This supported the identification of the main uncertainties affecting their seismic performance and the definition of classes of buildings representative of the typology. The seismic assessment includes the generation of fragility curves that combine the in-plane and out-of-plane response following different criteria and methods of analyses. The results put in evidence the seismic vulnerability of this class of buildings. Considering the earthquake-resistant code for Lisbon with a return period of 475 years, about 50% probability of having heavy damage and about 30% probability of collapse were estimated. The structural intervention on these buildings is urgent in order to reduce losses due to future earthquakes. Further studies for the assessment of similar buildings in Lisbon and elsewhere can be developed using the adopted procedure.


Unreinforced masonry buildings Uncertainty analyses Performance-based seismic assessment Non-linear analyses Fragility curves 



The first author would like to acknowledge the financial support of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Ministério da Educação e Ciência, Portugal) through the scholarship PD/BD/106076/2015 through the FCT Doctoral Program: Analysis and Mitigation of Risks in Infrastructures, INFRARISK- ( The authors would also like to acknowledge the contribution from Bruno Silva (Instituto Superior Técnico) and Nuno Mendes (University of Minho) regarding the ambient vibration tests.


  1. Appleton JG (2005) Reabilitação de Edifícios “Gaioleiros”, 1st edn. Edições Orion, Lisboa (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  2. Beyer K, Mangalathu S (2014) Numerical study on the peak strength of masonry spandrels with arches. J Earthq Eng 18:169–186. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bracchi S, Rota M, Magenes G, Penna A (2016) Seismic assessment of masonry buildings accounting for limited knowledge on materials by bayesian updating. Bull Earthq Eng 14(8):2273–2297. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Candeias P (2008) Avaliação Da Vulnerabilidade Sísmica de Edifícios de Alvenaria. Ph.D. Thesis. Universidade do Minho. Guimarães (in Portuguese)Google Scholar
  5. Cattari S, Lagomarsino S (2008) A strength criterion for the flexural behaviour of spandrels in un-reinforced masonry walls. In Proceedings of the 14th earthquake conference on earthquake engineerring, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  6. Cattari S, Lagomarsino S (2013) Seismic assessment of mixed masonry-reinforced concrete buildings by non-linear static analyses. Earthq Struct 4(3):241–264. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CEN (2004) Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance. Part 1: general rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings Eurocode, EN 1998-1. European Committee for Standardization (CEN), BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  8. D’Ayala D, Spence R, Oliveira CS, Pomonis A (1997) Earthquake loss estimation for Europe’s historic town centres. Earthq Spectra 13(4):773–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Farinha J, Reis A (1993) Tabelas Técnicas, 2nd edn. Edição P.O.B, Setúbal (In Potuguese) Google Scholar
  10. Ferreira V, Farinha J (1974) Tabelas Técnicas Para Engenharia Civil, 7th edn. Técnica. Associação de Estudantes do Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  11. Franchin P, Pagnoni T (2018) A general model of resistance partial factors for seismic assessment and retrofit. In 16th European conference on earthquake engineering, ThessalonikiGoogle Scholar
  12. Giongo I, Dizhur D, Tomasi R, Ingham JM (2013) In-plane assessment of existing timber diaphragms in URM buildings via quasi-static and dynamic in situ tests. Adv Mater Res 778:495–502. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. GNDT (1994) Scheda Di Esposizione e Vulnerabilità e Di Rilevamento Danni Di Primo Livello e Secondo Livello (Muratura e Cemento Armato). Gruppo Nazionale per la Difesa dai Terremoti (GNDT), Roma (In Italian) Google Scholar
  14. Griffith MC, Lam NTK, Wilson JL, Doherty K (2004) Experimental investigation of unreinforced brick masonry walls in flexure. J Struct Eng 130(3):423–432. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grünthal G (1998) European macroseismic scale 1998: EMS-98. Chaiers du Centre Européen de Géodynamique et de Séismologie, LuzembourgGoogle Scholar
  16. INE (2012) Censos 2011 Resultados Definitivos—Portugal. Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE), I.P. Lisboa (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  17. IPQ (2010) Eurocódigo 8—Projecto de Estruturas Para Resistência Aos Sismos. Parte 1: Regras Gerais, Acções Sísmicas e Regras Para Edifícios, NP EN 1998-1:2010. Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ), Caparica (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  18. IPQ (2017) Eurocódigo 8—Projeto de Estruturas Para Resistência Aos Sismos Parte 3: Avaliação e Reabilitação de Edifícios, NP EN 1998-3:2017. Instituto Português da Qualidade (IPQ), Caparica (in Portuguese) Google Scholar
  19. Joint Committee on Structural Safety (2011) Probabilistic model code. Part 3: Resistance models. 3.2. Masonry Properties. ISBN 978-3-909386-79-6Google Scholar
  20. Kržan M, Gostič S, Cattari S, Bosiljkov V (2015) Acquiring reference parameters of masonry for the structural performance analysis of historical buildings. Bull Earthq Eng 13(1):203–236. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lagomarsino S (2015) Seismic assessment of rocking masonry structures. Bull Earthq Eng 13(1):97–128. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lagomarsino S, Cattari S (2014) Fragility functions of masonry buildings. In: Pitilakis K, Crowley H, Kaynia A (eds) SYNER-G: typology definition and fragility functions for physical elements at seismic risk, buildings, lifelines, transportation networks and critical facilities, geotechnical, geological and earthquake engineering, vol 27. Springer, Berlin, pp 111–156. Google Scholar
  23. Lagomarsino S, Cattari S (2015) PERPETUATE guidelines for seismic performance-based assessment of cultural heritage masonry structures. Bull Earthq Eng 13(1):13–47. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lagomarsino S, Giovinazzi S (2006) Macroseismic and mechanical models for the vulnerability and damage assessment of current buildings. Bull Earthq Eng 4(September):415–443. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lagomarsino S, Penna A, Galasco A, Cattari S (2013) TREMURI program: an equivalent frame model for the nonlinear seismic analysis of masonry buildings. Eng Struct 56:1787–1799. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liel AB, Haselton CB, Deierlein GG, Baker JW (2009) Incorporating modeling uncertainties in the assessment of seismic collapse risk of buildings. Struct Saf 31:197–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lopes M, Meireles H, Cattari S, Bento R, Lagomarsino S (2014) Pombalino constructions: description and seismic assessment. In: Costa A, Guedes JM, Varum H (eds) Structural rehabilitation of old buildings, Building pathology and rehabilitation, vol 2, 1st edn. Springer, Berlin, pp 187–233. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lourenço PB, Mendes N, Ramos LF, Oliveira DV (2011) Analysis of masonry structures without box behavior. Int J Archit Herit 5:369–382. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mendes N, Lourenço PB, Campos-Costa A (2014) Shaking table testing of an existing masonry building: assessment and improvement of the seismic performance. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 43(2):247–266. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. MIT (2009) Istruzioni per l’applicazione Delle ‘Norme Tecniche per Le Costruzioni’ Di Cui Al Decreto Ministeriale 14/01/2008. Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti (MIT), Roma (In Italian) Google Scholar
  31. Morandi P, Albanesi L, Graziotti F, Li Piani T, Penna A, Magenes G (2018) Development of a dataset on the in-plane experimental response of URM piers with bricks and blocks. Constr Build Mater 190(2018):593–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. NTC (2008) Norme Tecniche per Le Costruzioni (NTC). Decreto Ministeriale 14/01/2008. Roma (In Italian)Google Scholar
  33. NZSEE (2017) The seismic assessment of existing buildings. Technical guidelines for engineering assessments. Part C—Detailed seismic assessment. Part C8—Unreinforced masonry buildings. New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering (NZSEE) Inc., WellingtonGoogle Scholar
  34. Rebelo A, Guedes JM, Quelhas B, Ilharco T (2015) Assessment of the mechanical behaviour of Tabique walls through experimental tests. In Proceedings of the 2nd international conference on historic earthquake-resistant timber frames in the mediterranean region, LisboaGoogle Scholar
  35. RGEUL (1930) Regulamento Geral Das Edificações Urbanas Em Lisboa (RGEUL). Postura da Câmara Municipal de Lisboa de 28/08/1930. Lisboa (in Portuguese)Google Scholar
  36. Rubinstein RY (2011) Simulation and the Monte Carlo method. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. Simões A (2018) Evaluation of the seismic vulnerability of the unreinforced masonry buildings constructed in the transition between the 19th and 20th centuries in Lisbon, Portugal. Ph.D. Thesis. Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, LisboaGoogle Scholar
  38. Simões A, Bento R, Cattari S, Lagomarsino S (2014a) Seismic assessment of ‘Gaioleiro’ buildings in Lisbon. In: Proceedings of the 9th international masonry conference, GuimarãesGoogle Scholar
  39. Simões A, Bento R, Cattari S, Lagomarsino S (2014b) Seismic performance-based assessment of ‘Gaioleiro’ buildings. Eng Struct 80(December):486–500. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Simões A, Milošević J, Meireles H, Bento R, Cattari S, Lagomarsino S (2015) Fragility curves for old masonry building types in Lisbon. Bull Earthq Eng 13(10):3083–3105. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Simões A, Appleton JG, Bento R, Caldas JV, Lourenço PB, Lagomarsino S (2017) Architectural and structural characteristics of masonry buildings between the 19th and 20th Centuries in Lisbon, Portugal. Int J Archit Herit 11(4):457–474. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Simões A, Bento R, Lagomarsino S, Lourenço PB (2018) The seismic assessment of masonry buildings between the 19th and 20th centuries in Lisbon—evaluation of uncertainties. In Proceedings of the 10th international masonry conference, MilanGoogle Scholar
  43. Simões A, Bento R, Lagomarsino S, Cattari S, Lourenço PB (2019a) Fragility functions for tall URM buildings around early 20th century in Lisbon. Part 1: method description and application to a case study. Int J Archit Herit (Submitted)Google Scholar
  44. Simões A, Bento R, Lagomarsino S, Cattari S, Lourenço PB (2019b) Fragility functions for tall URM buildings around early 20th century in Lisbon. Part 2: application to different classes of buildings. Int J Archit Herit (Submitted)Google Scholar
  45. SVIBS (2013) ARTeMIS Modal Pro 3.0. Structural Vibration Solutions (SVIBS)Google Scholar
  46. Turnšek V, Čačovič F (1970) Some experimental results on the strength of brick masonry walls. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international brick masonry conference. Stoke-on-TrentGoogle Scholar
  47. Turnšek V, Sheppard P (1980) The shear and flexural resistance of masonry walls. In: Proceedings of the international research conference on earthquake engineering. SkopjeGoogle Scholar
  48. Vanin F, Zaganelli D, Penna A, Beyer K (2017) Estimates for the stiffness, strength and drift capacity of stone masonry walls based on 123 quasi-static cyclic tests reported in the literature. Bull Earthq Eng. Google Scholar
  49. Vicente R, Parodi S, Lagomarsino S, Varum H, Mendes da Silva J (2011) Seismic vulnerability and risk assessment: case study of the Historic City Centre of Coimbra, Portugal. Bull Earthq Eng 9:1067–1096. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zhang P, Nagae T, McCormick J, Ikenaga M, Katsuo M, Nakashima M (2008) Friction-based sliding between steel and steel, steel and concrete, and wood and stone. In: Proceedings of the 14th world conference on earthquake engineeringGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CERIS, Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.DICCAUniversità degli Studi di GenovaGenoaItaly
  3. 3.ISISEUniversidade do Minho, Campus de AzurémGuimarãesPortugal

Personalised recommendations