G. MIRABELLA ROBERT!*, M. FACCHINI** and L. BINDA* *Politecnico di Milano, **CEC Joint Research Centre, Ispra

The comparison of different procedures for measuring the mechanical parameters of solid masonry units is presented. The difficulties related to the use of classical measurement devices, such as strain gauges or displacement transducers, are highlighted. The principles of ESP] (Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry) are summarized and the use of the optical interferometric method in comparison with common measuring techniques is discussed. The experimental results obtained show the effectiveness of this technique in the case of low stiffness materials and small specimens. The quantitative evaluation by ESPI measurements of the mechanical characteristics of solid softmud bricks is also proposed.