Seismic behavior of an old masonry building in Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal


Ortega Heras, Javier; Vasconcelos, Graça; Rodrigues, Hugo; Correia, M.

Seismic vulnerability; Finite element analysis; Local seismic culture; Vila Real de Santo António

Vila Real de Santo António is located in the Algarve region and was erected ex novo at the end of the 18th Century, after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, following a Pombaline development that showed seismic concern at an urban and architectural level. However, most of the original constructions have been subjected to continuous alterations or even substituted for new ones. The first building built in the town was the Alfândega or Customs House and was selected as a case study because it still preserves most of its original characteristics. It was studied through historical survey, visual inspection and experimental in-situ characterization. As a result, a detailed finite element model was constructed and pushover analyses were carried out to assess its seismic vulnerability. The main goals of the paper are to understand the resisting mechanisms and seismic behavior of the building, as well as to evaluate the influence of structural alterations.