Innovative seismic protection measures for historic stone monuments

Title Innovative seismic protection measures for historic stone monuments
Main Area Cultural heritage
Funding Framework ERA-NET Heritage Plus
Funding (€) 335 000 €
Duration 36 months
Principal Contractor Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (Portugal) 
Participating Institutions

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (Portugal);

Universidad de Extremadura (Spain);  

Technical University Gh. Asachi (Romania);

Direção Geral do Património Cultural (Associate Partner, Portugal)


Earthquakes cause immense damage to historic structures and monuments, which are an important part of the cultural heritage and human civilization. Study of past earthquakes show that a great deal of loss and damage to cultural property can be prevented if suitable measures are previously taken in seismic zones.

The main objective of SEISMHERIT is to study some innovative measures to protect world heritage stone buildings in order to resist earthquakes. This will be achieved by the development of little intrusive and reversible innovative solutions, which will be optimized using numerical simulations and validated by several laboratory static and cyclic tests, including shaking table tests.

In view of this goal, several cases of collapse of historic structures will be studied, with the aim of learning about the actual causes of this behaviour, using lessons from the past in order to apply to the current analysis. The Monastery of Alcobaça - a monument inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List - will be used as a case study. 

This project fits the aims and the first broad topic of the Heritage Plus Call, as it will focus on the research and development of innovative measures to protect world heritage stone buildings against earthquakes. The architectural, structural and construction information about the studied monuments, compiled in a digital database available online will allow different stakeholders to have easy and free access to it. The new non-destructive methodologies, which respect the heritage architecture, and the innovative solutions to resist earthquakes will be important outcomes. The publications, the website and seminar will help disseminate the knowledge developed among the scientific and technical community and also contribute to informed policy decisions about the cultural heritage. Furthermore, the knowledge gathered in the project is expected to be extrapolated to other important monuments.