1)Ph.D., University of Florence, DiDA,

2)Architect, University of Calabria, Dimes,

3)Professor, University of Florence, DiDA,

4)Professor, University of Calabria, Dimes,


The Borbone construction system, comprises of masonry panels reinforced within a timber frame, originated in the Calabria region at the end of ‘700. The buildings with such anti-seismic technology have been subjected to general checks after the 1905 and 1908 catastrophic earthquakes, showed high resistance to the dynamic actions. This ductile behaviour was witnessed by several historical photos and by important scholars of the time. The system represents the synthesis of the scientific knowledge on the anti-seismic engineering of the XVIII C, in which the masonry confers stiffness to the timber frames and contemporaneously it dissipates seismic energy through the friction generated among the component elements. The timber structure role is to limit or to make reversible the displacements generated in the masonry mass in case of seismic acceleration.

The outcome of cycling testing of full-scale specimens [1], performed at CNR Ivalsa in Trento5, supported by calculations enabled using prediction models will be presented and discussed in the paper. The experimental results will be related to historical photos of the in plane and out of plane earthquake damages of the masonry reinforced with timber frames.


Keywords: Seismic behaviour, masonry reinforced, timber frames, out-of-plane, stiffness