1) Master in Construction and Rehabilitation Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Viseu,

2) Adjunct Professor, DEC-Polytechnic Institute of Viseu,


“Tabique” walls, a technique of traditional construction, can be found along the Portuguese territory with the highest incidence in the north. There is a certain variability of the materials used, the dimensions and the construction details concerning this type of building component. The recognized current need to rehabilitate this heritage type of structure justifies the research of this construction technique to find accurately rehabilitation intervention solutions.

A study was conducted on some buildings of the historic centre of Viseu, where “tabique” walls appear as elements of partition, as façade elements or as main structural elements. After the selection of representative samples of “tabique” walls, we studied their constituent elements, namely wood, mortar and the connecting elements. Afterwards, an experimental analysis was performed in order to find out and to characterize some mechanical properties of these walls. Based on these results, the development of a numerical model was made and proposed, which is able to simulate the structural behaviour, allowing its correct incorporation into the structural modelling of old buildings. We conclude the importance of this traditional technique in the overall behaviour of the structures, as well as the intrinsic knowledge of their properties as a way to mitigate risk and vulnerability of existing old structures.


Keywords: “Tabique” walls, timber structures, rehabilitation, materials characterization, numerical modelling.