The Italian building heritage is aged and inadequate to the high-performance levels required nowadays in terms of energy efficiency and seismic response. Innovative techniques are generating a strong interest, especially in terms of multi-level approaches and solution optimizations. Among these, Nested Buildings, an integrated intervention approach which preserves the external existing structure and provides a new structural system inside, aim at improving both energy and structural performances. The research presented hereinafter focuses on the strengthening of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings with cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, thanks to their lightweight, high stiffness, and good hygrothermal characteristics. The improvement of the hygrothermal performance was investigated through a 2D-model analyzed in the dynamic regime, which showed a general decreasing in the overall thermal transmittance for the retrofitted configurations. Then, to evaluate the seismic behavior of the coupled system, a parametric linear static analysis was implemented for both in-plane and out-of-plane directions, considering various masonry types and connector spacings. Results showed the efficiency of the intervention to improve the in-plane response of walls, thus validating possible applications to existing URM buildings, where local overturning mechanisms are prevented by either sufficient construction details or specific solutions. View Full-Text
Use of timber as a construction material has entered a period of renaissance since the development of high-performance engineered wood products, enabling larger and taller buildings to be built. In addition, due to substantial contribution of the building sector to global energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production, sustainable solutions are needed, for which timber has shown a great potential as a sustainable, resilient and renewable building alternative, not only for single family homes but also for mid-rise and high-rise buildings. Both recent technological developments in timber engineering and exponentially increased use of engineered wood products and wood composites reflect in deficiency of current timber codes and standards. This paper presents an overview of some of the current challenges and emerging trends in the field of seismic design of timber buildings. Currently existing building codes and the development of new generation of European building codes are presented. Ongoing studies on a variety topics within seismic timber engineering are presented, including tall timber and hybrid buildings, composites with timber and seismic retrofitting with timber. Crucial challenges, key research needs and opportunities are addressed and critically discussed.