University of Padua

The paper reviews the methodology and the main results of an extended research programme on the evaluation and modelling of the seismic response of masonry structures. The research started after the destructive 1976 Friuli earthquake, considering both plain masonry buildings as they were, and still are typically built in Italy, and newly, specifically designed reinforced masonry structures. It was initially focused on very basic issues, namely stiffness and strength, and their deterioration under cyclic actions, of masonry shear walls. The major objective was to answer very fundamental requirements of safety criteria for the seismic design of the structures under consideration. The study progressively developed toward more sophisticated experimental and numerical investigations to establish more refined design criteria and guide lines for masonry structures. The influence of such aspects as the type of seismic action, the structural type (in particular the very popular mixed r.c. -masonry structures) and the actual three-dimensional behaviour of both plain and reinforced masonry structures is being taken into account in this phase.