Buildings and heritage

this picture shows a typical panorama of many cities: the new centre with skyscrapers and around it the older buildings of the city centre.It is important to monitor the structural health of both parts of cities. SHM applied to geotechnical problems and structural safety becomes a fundamental part of ensuring the safety of structures, both during construction and during the natural life of the structures.

What are buildings and heritage monitoring?

Building, skyscraper, and heritage monitoring refers to the process of regularly observing and recording the structural integrity of these structures. This is done to ensure that they remain safe and secure for their occupants and visitors, and to identify any potential issues or areas that require maintenance or repair.

Monitoring can involve a range of techniques, including visual inspections, structural and geotechnical instrumentation, and data analysis tools.

Effective monitoring is essential for ensuring the long-term preservation and sustainability of buildings, skyscrapers, and heritage sites. It helps to identify any issues early on, allowing for prompt action to be taken to prevent further damage or deterioration. Additionally, it can help to inform maintenance and repair schedules, allowing for resources to be allocated efficiently and effectively.

The monitoring of buildings and skyscrapers requires a careful assessment of the causes that could lead to their settlements or rotations. Usually, the causes of movement are to be searched in the foundations and the type of lithology on which the structure is built, as well as in incorrect evaluations made during the building design.

The origin of the instability can be caused by excavations or other underground works in the proximity, sudden changes in the water table, earthquakes, etc.

Which are the challenges in buildings and heritage monitoring?

Geotechnical and structural buildings monitoring involve the use of sensors and monitoring systems to assess the performance, safety, and integrity of the building’s foundation, soil, and structural components. Some of the main topics in geotechnical and structural building monitoring include:

  • Foundation settlement and movement: this involves monitoring the movement and settlement of a building’s foundation to detect any potential issues and prevent structural damage.
  • Structural health monitoring: this involves monitoring the performance and condition of a building’s structural components, such as beams, columns, and walls, to detect any signs of deterioration or damage.
  • Soil condition and stability: this involves monitoring the soil condition and stability around a building’s foundation to detect any potential risks to the building’s stability.
  • Seismic monitoring: this involves monitoring the building’s response to seismic activity and earthquakes to ensure that it can withstand these natural events.