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Title: Methodology for the seismic assessment of earthen and timber historic churches : application to Peruvian heritage
Author: Fonseca Ferreira, C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7224 4258
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Historic buildings, and churches in particular, are one of the most complex existing structures not only because of the structural system complexity but also due to the limited documentation on their construction that is normally available. Amongst historic buildings, earthen and timber churches built across Latin-America are one of the least studied and most vulnerable structures, as past earthquakes have shown. For instance, the 2007 Pisco earthquake caused the collapse of many historic earthen and timber colonial churches in Peru. The thesis proposes a new framework for the seismic assessment of historic buildings that measures the uncertainty of the structural analysis and its influence on the structural diagnosis due to incomplete knowledge. The methodology is validated through application to two historic earthen and timber churches built in Peru in the 17th and 18th centuries, of different complexity and cultural value, which are representative of important Latin-American colonial building types. The most important variables that govern the seismic response of these churches are identified by means of numerical simulations. Through the application of the framework, the thesis provides a modeling and structural evaluation solution for planked timber vaults and a hypothesis on the cause of failure of these vaults during the 2007 Pisco earthquake. The influence of lack or shortage of knowledge on the structural diagnosis of the churches is discussed. Alterations to current guidelines for the assessment of historic buildings are proposed from the conclusions drawn from the study.
Supervisor: D'Ayala, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available