Ethics and materials: Some Spanish Cases

Huerta Fernández, Santiago (2012). Ethics and materials: Some Spanish Cases. Monografía (Working Paper). E.T.S. Arquitectura (UPM), Lausanne.


Title: Ethics and materials: Some Spanish Cases
  • Huerta Fernández, Santiago
Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Event Title: Déontologie de la pierre: stratégies d'intervention pour la cthédrale de Lausanne
Event Dates: 14-15 de junio de 2012
Event Location: Lausanne
Date: June 2012
Freetext Keywords: historic srtuctures intervention masonry structural theory arches vaults
Faculty: E.T.S. Arquitectura (UPM)
Department: Estructuras de Edificación [hasta 2014]
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

Full text

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer, such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (2MB) | Preview


The problem is general: modern architects and engineers are trying to understand historic structures using the wrong theoretical frame, the classic (elastic) thery of structures developed in the 19th Century for iron and stell, and in the 20th century for reinforced concrete, disguised with "modern" computer packages, mainly FEM, but also others. Masonry is an essentially different material, and the structural equations must be adapted accordingly. It is not a matter of "taste" or "opinion", and the consequences are before us. Since, say 1920s, historic monuments have suffered the aggression of generations of archietcts and engineers, trying to transform masonry in reinfored concrete or steel. The damage to the monuments and the expense has been, and is, enormous. However, as we have an adequate theory (modern limit analysis of masonry structures, Heyman 1966) which encompasses the "old theory" used successfully by the 18th and 19th Century practical engineers (from Perronet to Sejourné), it is a matter of "Ethics" not to use the wrong approach. It is also "contra natura" to modify the material masonry with indiscriminate injections, stitchings, etc. It is insane to consider, suddenly, that buildings which are Centuries or milennia old, are suddenly in danger of collapse. Maintenance is necessary but not the actual destruction of the constructive essence of the monument. A cocktail of "ignorance, fear and greed" is acting under the best of intentions.

More information

Item ID: 12665
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
Deposited by: Profesor S. Huerta
Deposited on: 12 Aug 2012 16:44
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2016 11:56
  • Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Sherpa-Romeo
    Check whether the anglo-saxon journal in which you have published an article allows you to also publish it under open access.
  • Dulcinea
    Check whether the spanish journal in which you have published an article allows you to also publish it under open access.
  • Recolecta
  • e-ciencia
  • Observatorio I+D+i UPM
  • OpenCourseWare UPM