Role and Perspective of Computational Structural Analysis for Sustainable Reconstruction and Seismic Risk Mitigation after an Earthquake
The catastrophic earthquake which struck the city of L’Aquila at the beginning of April 2009, caused several failures in buildings. A serious level of damage occurred in masonry structures, including partial collapses; however the reinforced concrete structures generally performed satisfactorily despite large deformations. After the im- mediate recovery process, a long reconstruction period is expected, during which the issue of seismic mitigation is going to play a fundamental role. The benefits achiev- able with innovative techniques at any level of application, such as new materials to be integrated into the old masonry structures, reinforcement with different fibers for both structural and non structural elements, innovative protective systems increas- ing the dissipation characteristics or isolating the structures at their base, need to be supported by evidence of reliable modelling in order to be confident on the achiev- able benefits. The chapter illustrates the role and the perspective of computational mechanics in different areas currently under investigation at the new earthquake re- search centre of the University of L’Aquila (CERFIS www.cerfis.it). In particular a synthesis of the lessons learned through comparing the immediate damage scenario and its evolution during the aftershocks with its modelling reproduction through com- putational nonlinear structural analysis for both masonry and reinforced concrete is presented. Different methodologies for in-situ data acquisition are compared in or- der to assess their contribution towards reliable modelling. Different techniques and methods are used to calibrate modelling procedures able to reproduce the observable post-earthquake scenario in detail in a set of structures. The knowledge acquired in accurate modelling has been used to evaluate the efficiency of specific techniques for seismic mitigation. In the framework presented two case studies are discussed: the masonry structure of the Palazzo Camponeschi and the reinforced concrete structure of Building A of the Engineering Faculty of the University of L’Aquila.