Numerical Modeling and Seismic Assessment of Historic Planked Timber Arches

Carina Fonseca Ferreira, Dina Dayala, Jose L. Fernandez-Cabo, Marina Arce-Blanco, Rafael Díez-Barra, Pedro Hurtado-Valdez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Historic buildings composed of timber vaults with planked arches are an important part of European and Latin-American heritage. However, the research on the structural assessment of timber planked arches has so far assumed the arches as continuous. In this article, the nailed joints of the arches are realistically modeled using springs of finite stiffness and the importance of their simulation to the whole structural response of the vaults is discussed. The approach is used to simulate the three-dimensional seismic behavior of the timber vault of the Cathedral of Ica, which was severely damaged by the 2007 Pisco earthquake. The numerical results and analytical models currently available in Eurocode 5 are used to explain the failure of the nailed joints of the arches of the cathedral in shear parallel to the grain and tension perpendicular to the grain. An assessment procedure of timber planked vaults by means of numerical modeling, from input parameters validation to diagnosis, is presented with a relevant and complex case study, which can be applied to other similar constructions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-729
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Heritage
Issue number6
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2015


  • historic constructions
  • numerical modeling
  • seismic assessment
  • timber joints
  • timber vaults


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