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Start date: Oct 1, 2013, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project aims at developing innovative systems for masonry enclosures, to be used for façades, envelopes and internal partitions of reinforced concrete framed buildings, to derive sound concepts for their analysis and to develop reliable, simple and efficient methods for their design in the everyday engineering practice. Masonry enclosure systems have excellent, yet still improvable, performance with respect to healthy indoor environment, temperature, noise, moisture, fire and durability. However, they have been considered for long time as non-load-bearing, non-structural elements. In reality, they can play a structural role in the overall seismic behavior of buildings. Enclosure walls need to be checked against excessive damage and potential out-of-plane collapse. Under this respect, as proven by recent earthquakes, if they are not properly detailed to accommodate seismic loads and correctly designed, they represent a significant hazard and can result in extensive economic losses as well as in a source of danger for human lives. Hence, it is necessary to reconsider the structural role of enclosures, in order to establish reliable analysis and design procedures and to provide background for an update of current structural codes. The adopted approach starts from material and technology development. Technical and economical feasibility of the envisaged construction systems will be demonstrated by performing parallel experimental and theoretical studies and will be validated by prototypes construction. Experimental and numerical characterization will be aimed at deriving structural requirements of masonry infill walls, as well as tools and methods for their assessment. The research will offer innovative solutions to scientific and technological problems which have a broad-spectrum impact. The experience of SME associations involved in the project, with the aid of all the partners, will ensure that the needs of large communities of SMEs are met
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