This new edition of this book has been driven by the numerous recent developments
of the research in the field, which it was necessary to recall in the text; the work of
this new version allowed the revision of the writing with the correction of many
misprints occurred during the proofreading of the previous edition.
The new edition also has offered the opportunity to include, scattered in the
various chapters, many refinements and improvements of the discussed topics,
some of them here listed as follows: the collapse induced by the crushing of
masonry in elements that cannot get deformed through mechanisms, as for instance
in the platband arch; the mechanics of collapse of masonry structures with
elasto-perfectly plastic reinforcements; dome statics, particularly examined in depth
regarding the dome of Brunelleschi in Florence.
Furthermore, the last chapter—the 11th—regarding the behavior of masonry
buildings under seismic actions, has been completely modified and integrated. The
starting point of this chapter has been the consideration that masonry constructions
behave very differently from ductile structures.
There is no dissipation of energy during their deformation, even if accompanied
by cracks. If properly reinforced, to avoid early local failures, masonry constructions
have the sole resource to escape the seismic action exhibiting rocking without
failure, under alternate seismic action.
In this context, on the wake of the more recent research on the matter, the
rocking of pier walls, which are the main resistant components of the masonry
structure, has been thoroughly examined. It has been defined the dynamical overturning
failure acceleration, larger than the acceleration producing the statical
collapse, that is the incipient rocking. A new and proper definition of the so-called
reduced strength factor q, well known in earthquake engineering, has been thus
given in this chapter. This ratio, here defined as the acceleration ratio, rather low in
value, is more appropriate to characterize masonry structures behavior, than those
inherent to other formulations, which improperly go back to criteria concerning
ductility of reinforced concrete or steel constructions.