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Author(s): L. Binda, R. de Vekey
Paper category: Workshop
Book title: International RILEM Workshop on On-Site Control and Evaluation of Masonry Structures
Editor(s): L. Binda, R.C. de Vekey
ISBN: 2-912143-34-9
Pages: XIII - XV
Total Pages: 3
Language: English

The Workshop has been organised under the scientific support of RILEM within the frame of the RILEM TC177MDT, dealing with minor destructive and non destructive techniques carried out on site to control durability and structural behaviour of masonry structures. The Committee started its works in 1997 following a previous Committee RILEM TC 127-MS dealing with laboratory and on site testing for masonry structures.

The Workshop was on purpose kept of small dimensions in order to have the opportunity of intense presentation and work of the members of the Committee together with some invited experts in the field. Very low fees were paid by the few attendants who were students, professors and private laboratories.

The choice of Mantova as city hosting the Workshop was done on purpose. Mantova is a small historic city at the bottom of the Lombardia Region, with a long rich history. It is characterised by ancient and old brick-masonry historic buildings and a Great number of Museums showing architectures by Giulio Romano paintings by Mantegna. It is a quiet city belonging to the Province and is hosting courses of the Faculty of Architecture of the Politecnico of Milan.

The Workshop was chaired by L. Binda who is also chairing the TC 177-MDT. The Faculty of Architecture provided the conference room and all the facilities and supported some expenses. Some private Laboratories working in the field of NDT participated to the poster Session and gave also support to the Workshop providing Hotel and meal expenses to the invited guests and the evening banquet.


The site control during construction and the on site investigation for the diagnosis of the state of conservation of existing masonry building were the subject of the workshop. For the above mentioned type of investigations no standards or code exist on procedures and testing. The scope of the RILEM TC177MDT is the preparation of Recommendation and Guidelines for the use and application of non destructive techniques to be applied on site for the control of new masonry structure construction and for the diagnosis of historic masonry structures.

This workshop had the aim of bringing together international experts to scrutinise and consolidate the state-of-the-art in the site control and NDT (non destructive techniques) applied to contemporary and historic masonry buildings.

Participants included laboratories, architects, engineers, conservation scientists and practitioners. The Workshop strongly emphasise the practical and the links between research and real applications.


Twenty nine presentations were made during the workshop which was divided into five Sessions as follows:
1) Site control on materials and workmanship
2) Structural monitoring of exiting buildings
3) Non structural monitoring systems
4) Minor destructive techniques (MDT)
5) Non destructive techniques (NDT)
6) Complementary use of tests and case history

Most of the presentations were made by the members of the Committee. Some experts which are not members of the Committee were invited: H. Sugo (Newcastle, Australia), A. Waldum (Trondheim, Norway), P. Roca (Barcelona, Spain), H. Garrecht (Karlsruhe, Germany), D. Liberatore (Potenza, Italy), P. Tiano (Florence, Italy), L.Zanzi (Milan, Italy), C. Blasi (Bari, Italy), G. Arun (Instanbul, Turkey), G. Mirabella Roberti (Venice, Italy).

The Workshop started on Monday, November 13th at 8.30 A.M. and ended on Wednesdays, November 15th at 1.30 P.M.

A poster Session was annexed to the Workshop, opened to the laboratories and to the equipment producers who sponsored the Workshop.

All the Sessions were opened by a general introduction; in the following a brief description of the topics presented in each session will be given:

The Site control on materials and workmanship was concerning either a description of the site control Standards or recommendations as applied in a single country (e.g. Norway, UK, USA) or procedures to control some parameters on site, as bond, control of mortar composition, or of workmanship.

The Structural monitoring of existing buildings concerned the choice of low cost procedures for monitoring of historic structures, advanced monitoring systems and applications to some cathedrals.

The Non structural monitoring system Session was devoted to the application of reflectometry in moisture measurement, the application of NMR to the study of moisture and salts movements, a monitoring system applied tom the Speyer Cathedral in Germany.

During the Minor destructive test (MDT) Session the application of the flat-jack tests to modern masonry and to historic masonry was presented, together with penetration and drilling tests on stones and mortar joints. Limits and advantages of all the presented tests were pointed out.

Among the Non destructive techniques different applications of georadar to masonry walls were presented together with the use of sonic and radar tomography to the study of the morphology of masonries. Also the use of thermography for the investigation of near surface characteristics was described.

In the last Session Complementary use of testing and case history the use of flay-jack, boroscopy and radar was illustrated , applied to the investigation of a multiple leaf wall, together with monitoring systems applied to Haghia Sophia and SS. Sergius and Bacchus in Istanbul, , S. Maria del Fiore in Florence and S. Vitale in Ravenna.

The presentation of a Simple guide to the properties of existing masonries and the Conclusions were closing the Workshop at 1.30 P.M.

A visit to the Poster session was paid in the afternoon and an Italian Session was opened to the sponsors where some of them presented their contribution to the application of NDTs.

The papers presented in the Workshop covered a variety of topics and of points of view in order to have an exhaustive state of the art of research and application of site control and investigation on masonry structures. Active discussions were developed around the limits and advantages of the site ND evaluation of masonries.

The Workshop clearly reached the goal of confirming the advanced preparation of the TC members but also to enlighten the need of dealing with some topics as monitoring and use of thermography and of simple site tests.

Luigia Binda and Robert de Vekey
November 2001

Online publication: 2003
Publication Type: full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00

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