The study of the seismic vulnerability of existing buildings requires a wide range of technical skills and knowledge, since it concerns analysis spanning several fields of engineering, including:
- surveys of site/building and construction details with specific instrumentation
- geological and geoseismic analysis with experimental tests on the properties of materials
- graphical rendering of architectural features and three-dimensional structural modelling
- carrying out of static and dynamic, linear and non-linear analysis
- safety check of structural frames
- preliminary, final and detailed planning of reinforcement work
The Prime Ministerial Decree of 21/10/2003 implemented the decisions of the National High Risk Committee and the Civil Defence Department regarding the establishing of three levels of data acquisition and verification.
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- Environmental audits and due diligence (phase I, phase II)
- Soil characterisation
- Management of the reclamation of contaminated sites
- Risk analysis
- Management of Hazardous Materials
- Environmental Management Systems- EMS
- Environment and Safety (Occupational Hygiene and Safety L. 626/94 and L. 494/94)
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
It refers to the acquisition of statistical data on structures for the sole purpose of making preliminary assessments without allowing any estimation of the actual seismic vulnerability.
It applies to regular buildings, in the absence of geomorphological features. It considers the possibility to stop at a limited level of knowledge and to perform linear static (or dynamic) analysis. The objective of the analysis is to define three levels of acceleration, for increasing damage, to be compared with expected accelerations. Estimates will generally err on the side of caution (underestimation of resistance).
It is mandatory for non-regular buildings, or in particular geomorphological situations. In-depth knowledge is required, therefore material and soil testing is required. In general, non-linear static analysis should be performed. Greater knowledge and more sophisticated analysis lead to a more accurate estimate of the actual structural resistance (therefore reinforcements are only required in cases that require it).