This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 846338
GREen Advanced TEchnologies for the Retrofitting of masonry Structures
Using natural fibre meshes to retrofit old buildings
Urban safety and seismic risk mitigation are two reasons policymakers and structural engineers around the world are focusing more resources on historic buildings that have been constructed from unreinforced masonry (URM). Over the past decades, various retrofitting and strengthening approaches have been implemented to improve the integrity of the structures, but these can be costly, labour-intensive and highly obtrusive. The EU-funded GRE.A.TE.R.S. project will develop a more sustainable and cost-effective solution that uses natural fibre meshes embedded in an inorganic lime-mortar matrix. According to the project, this reliable solution can be engineered to meet the specific performance criteria of masonry buildings.
Unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings constitute more than 70% of the existing building stock worldwide and make up the vast majority of the world’s cultural and architectural heritage. Although masonry has proven to be a highly versatile and durable construction material, much of the existing building stock in Europe and developing countries are non-engineered URM buildings, often built with weak materials and following poor construction practices. As a result, the majority of the existing building stock is in dire need of structural rehabilitation and strengthening. Traditional strengthening and rehabilitation techniques include grout or epoxy injections, crack stitching, surface overlays with mesh-reinforced concrete, chicken-wire or reinforced plaster, reinforced concrete jacketing as well as external/internal post tensioning.
However, all of these techniques can affect significantly the dynamic response characteristics of the structure and can be costly, labour-intensive and highly obtrusive. In recent years, the use of advanced composite materials in civil engineering applications has increased exponentially, and the various retrofitting solutions that have been developed based on the implementation of these materials have proven to be very effective. However, the high performance of these advanced materials would not be effectively exploited on the less demanding masonry structures and the high material and installation costs would render them prohibitive in most European and developing countries. The proposed project aims to develop a novel strengthening solution that uses natural fibre meshes embedded in an inorganic lime-mortar matrix. The new system will provide a more sustainable and cost‐effective alternative and will provide a more reliable solution that can be engineered to meet the specific performance criteria of masonry buildings.
- THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
Start date: 1/11/2019 - End date: 31/10/2021