16th-Century Wall Studied with STKO

ASDEA engineers turned to STKO to repair the former Saint Catherine Convent

While developing the restoration and renovation project for the former convent of Saint Catherine, ASDEA’s team of engineers and architects were presented with a unique challenge. One of the defining historical aspects of the building was a semi-collapsed 16th-century wall that enclosed the convent’s inner courtyard. The team wanted to design an intervention that preserved the historical architecture and used as much of the original materials as possible while improving the seismic resistance of the wall.

The engineering team chose to use the open-source software OpenSees and the STKO graphic interface for pre and postprocessing to develop a model of the reconstructed wall. The model was subjected to non-linear numerical analyses to study the out-of-plane behavior of the wall. The shell element with nonlinear kinematics and the damage-plastic constitutive bond used for the analysis were developed in-house and enabled the accurate and robust analysis of the nonlinear response until complete collapse.

The parallel computation capabilities of OpenSees and STKO greatly reduced the time needed for completing the calculations. Following these detailed analyses of the potential behavior of the wall, the team designed a support system for the wall composed of five corten steel columns, which taper off halfway up the wall. This support system lends extra resistance to the structure while complementing and highlighting the enormous historical value of the wall.

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