Materiales de Construcción, Vol 62, No 308 (2012)

Timbered masonry for earthquake resistance in Europe

A. Dutu
Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest, The National Research and Development Institute “URBAN-INCERC”, Romania

J. Gomes Ferreira
Technical University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal

L. Guerreiro
Technical University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal

F. Branco
Technical University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal

A. M. Gonçalves
Technical University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisboa, Portugal


Europe is a continent that is subject to significant seismic activity. Thus, the buildings’ seismic behaviour must be analysed, including not only the new structures, designed under more rigorous codes, but also older ones.
This article examines a traditional type of building that uses timber frame/masonry, which is found in Portugal, Turkey, France, England, Greece, Romania, Italy, Spain, Germany and Scandinavia. Although the structures differ in terms of construction details, their structural system is basically the same: the wooden structural system bears mainly the horizontal loads while the masonry supports the gravity loads.
The study includes a brief report on the seismicity of each country where this traditional type of building made of timbered framed masonry is found, together with the description of these buildings’ constructive systems.


timber; masonry; traditional housing; seismic behaviour

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