1) Hipólito Sousa, SOPSEC, S.A., Portugal,

2) Jerónimo Botelho, Portugal,


This communication describes the rehabilitation of the old alcohol factory of Ribeira Grande, where the new Contemporary Arts Centre of Azores will be located. It represents an iconological construction from the late 19th century Industrial Era in the archipelago and it is composed of a group of basalt stone masonry buildings (total area around 5.000m2) and a chimney of 31 meters tall.

The buildings were in an advanced state of degradation and the intervention had the purpose, not only to enable the new use, but also to guarantee structural safety to seismic actions, because of the proximity to the active tectonic faults nearby the archipelago. Local materials and techniques were preferentially used in all solutions, ensuring compatibility and close dialogue with the pre-existence.

The structural analysis was preceded by an acquisition of information about the building, from simple visual inspections to non-destructive techniques of dynamic identification in the chimney, ensuring key information for the calibration of the numerical models and the definition of the reinforcement measures. Three-dimensional finite element models were developed for understanding the global behaviour of the structure, complemented by isolated security checks, allowing the selection of appropriate and low-intrusive reinforcement solutions and thus respecting the architectural value of the constructions.


Keywords: Industrial Heritage, Structural Analysis, Seismic Retrofitting, Compatibility, Low-intrusive techniques.