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Seismic Prevention and the Building’s Technical Dossier

Maria Paola Gatti

Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanics Engineering, University of Trento, Trento 38123, Italy


Abstract: The architecture of historic centres, of large and variegated cities and even that of the most far-flung towns that stud Italy’s landscape, constitute the greatest value bequeathed us by civilisation. Over many decades, academics drawn from various sector disciplines have carried out stylistic, historical and structural studies on the built environment but tend to forget the matter of a fragility determined by the lack of maintenance or seismic upgrading work. Every government in the second part of the last century as well as those of this century, has experienced difficulty in even recognising seismic effects as a natural and social calamity calling for not only reconstruction work but also, and of equal importance, preventive and risk-abatement measures. The authors have pursued various paths, all of which have revealed themselves partial and inconclusive. Certainly, they should ask themselves what and how, in practice, is to be done, but first and foremost they must come to grips with the issue at stake. Seismic prevention in historic centres, “whether or not in a seismic area”, depends on the knowledge of and control over the processes transforming the built environment, the outcome and product of an uninterrupted process of alteration, driven by pressures, probably even more tenacious than in the past, and rendered fragile due to casual and uncontrolled modifications. The safeguarding of the historical architectural heritage calls for a clear policy as well as methods and criteria of intervention that statutory measures usually limit to new buildings in seismic areas. This gives rise to numerous questions: how and what to study, how to proceed, as well as what can be achieved and how?

Key words: Historic centres, preventive and risk-abatement measures, safeguarding, conservation, building’s technical dossier.
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