Six-Steps Process of Structural Assessment of Heritage Timber Structures : Definition Based on the State of the Art

Each construction material deals with specific mechanical properties, their distribution, damage mechanisms, and degradation processes. Therefore, each material requires a particular assessment approach in order to derive a reliable description of the residual performance of the structure, correctly remove the cause of damage, and proceed with the correct design of interventions. The aims of this paper are, first, the definition of a process of assessment and retrofitting of existing timber structures, both for engineered and heritage/traditional timber structures, and second, a comparison between the defined assessment process and its contents, and the content of existing guidelines, codes, and standards. In order to gain a definition of the process of assessment and retrofitting of existing timber structures, the content of scientific papers and articles was analyzed, and on this basis, an assessment process with six main steps and three milestones was developed. The content of the guidelines, codes and standards was afterwards analyzed basing on this six-steps assessment process. From a comparison among the current literature, guidelines, codes, and standards, interesting results emerged that gave us a picture of the European knowledge and interests on the assessment of existing timber structures. Not only agreement, but also discrepancies, variances, and incongruities were identified as possible topics for future research


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