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Diagnosing structural damage in masonry: results of a questionnaire



Title: Diagnosing structural damage in masonry: results of a questionnaire
Author(s): I.A.E. de Vent, R.P.J van Hees, G.J. Hobbelman
Paper category : conference
Book title: RILEM Symposium on On Site Assessment of Concrete, Masonry and Timber Structures - SACoMaTiS 2008
Editor(s): L. Binda, M. di Prisco, R. Felicetti
Print-ISBN: 978-2-35158-061-5
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-075-2
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2008
Pages: 839 - 848
Total Pages: 10
Nb references: 2
Language: English


Abstract: The correctness of a diagnosis does not only depend on the availability of data, but, above all, on the ability of the surveyor to interpret these data. To support this process of diagnosing, and improve its accuracy, we need to understand how experts reach a diagnosis. Therefore, a questionnaire was distributed, containing pictures of four buildings with visible (structural) damage. In this paper, two of the four cases are discussed. For each case, experts were asked to indicate their opinion on the cause of the damage, and to explain on which arguments they based their hypothesis, or to indicate what information was missing. The results showed that the intuitive and experience-based approach of the experts is efficient, but that it also has some drawbacks: it can be subjective, and difficult to communicate. Alternative hypotheses might not be taken into account, with a risk that the diagnosis is incorrect. By making the reasoning and assumptions in the diagnostic process more explicit, we would be able to overcome these disadvantages, and improve the quality of diagnosis.


Online publication: 2009-05-26
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00