Earthquake Protection of Byzantine Churches Using Seismic Isolation

P. Gavrilovic, V. Sendova
Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology, IZIIS SS. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

S. Kelley
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA

ABSTRACT: To develop appropriate approaches for repair and strengthening of Byzantine churches,
in general, and particularly churches located within Macedonia, research projects on seismic strengthening, conservation and restoration, including seismic isolation of Byzantine Churches in the Republic of Macedonia were realized in the period 1990-2000. Within these activities, the project "Earthquake Protection of Byzantine Churches Using Seismic Isolation" was realized at the Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (IZIIS) within the framework of the joint USMacedonia research project and the PHARE Cultural development program, (Gavrilovic et al, 2001). The objective of all of these investigations was to develop and test methods to obtain seismically resistant structures using minimal intervention concepts that achieve adequate protection. The project program included shaking table testing of base isolated church model. The experimental results as well as advantages and disadvantages of the protection using seismic base isolation are discussed in the paper. The tests proved that the new technology of seismic base isolation of historic monuments offers absolute safety and protection and that its application should become an imperative in earthquake protection of historic monuments in future. KEYWORDS: Historic monuments, Byzantine churches, seismic isolation, shaking table test

Earthquake protection of cultural monuments located in seismically active regions depends on the expected earthquake accelerations, structural resistance, the existing state of the structures as well as the applied methods and techniques for repair and/or strengthening. Therefore it will be of greatest importance that conservation and restoration of cultural monuments located in seismically active regions be planned on the basis of detailed studies of expected seismic hazard, local soil conditions, dynamic characteristics of structural systems, bearing and deformability characteristics of the materials, elements and systems as well as dynamic behaviour of structures during strong earthquakes. The territory of Macedonia is known for the large number of its historic monuments among which are churches dating from the Byzantine period. The churches are important architectural structures and contain extraordinary collections of highly important frescos. Being located in one of the seismically most active regions in Europe, these buildings have been exposed not only to climatic and man-made damaging factors but also to severe earthquake effects during the long period of their existence. Due to the need for development of a corresponding methodology for repair, strengthening, conservation and restoration of cultural monuments, detailed analytical-experimental studies were performed within the framework of the research project "Study for Seismic Strengthening, Conservation and Restoration of Churches Dating from the Byzantine period (9th - 14th century) in Macedonia", realized by the Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology (IZIIS), Skopje, the Republic Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments (RZZSK), Skopje, Macedonia and the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI), USA in the period 1991-1995, (Gavrilovic et al, 1995, 1999). The efficiency of the developed methodology for seismic strengthening of Byzantine churches by using "ties and injection" was proved by analytical and ample "in situ" experimental tests of structures, laboratory tests of materials, testing of bearing-deformability characteristics of elements and seismic shaking table testing of large-scale models.

whereas this level of demand represented the elasticity limit and beginning of nonlinearity for the M-SN-STR. the proposed methodology was based on introducing elements for providing seismic resistance and ductility to the existing structures. are very efficient in increasing the seismic stability of these structures. Below amax=0. From the general behavior of the model. Nikita. The repaired and strengthened model. they may be destructive and may lead to disturbance of the wall mass. indirectly inducing damage to the fresco-paintings. injection. simulating two types of earthquakes: the Friuli (Italy) earthquake of 1976 (Breginj record) as a local earthquake. and the 1979 Montenegro (Petrovac record) and 1940 El Centro earthquakes as earthquakes from distant foci. labeled M-SN-STR. Nikita Church Model M-SN-EXIST Figure 1. sticking to the principle of "minimum intervention maximum protection". After being repaired using injection of cracks and partial rebuilding. the original model suffered severe damage and was close to failure. Imposed as a new methodology and an alternative method are the seismic isolation.17g. etc. . The applied methodology for repair and strengthening is in compliance with the principle of "minimum interventions . Conservation and Restoration of Churches Dating from the Byzantine Period (9th . was subjected to the same series of dynamic tests as before for the purpose of comparison of the effectiveness of the applied method of strengthening. there was separation of the bearing walls and development of damage up to a state close to complete failure. St. was constructed and tested on the seismic shaking table in the Dynamic Testing Laboratory of IZIIS. the damaged model was also strengthened with horizontal and vertical belt courses of post-tensioned steel reinforcement that were installed into the wall mass.Considering that the main characteristic of historic monuments and hence the Byzantine churches is that they are constructed of brittle materials and have limited possibilities of exerting ductile behaviour. a model of the church of St.40g. The prototype and the 1:2 scaled model To experimentally verify the proposed methodology for repair and seismic strengthening of Byzantine churches. The response of the strengthened model was considerably different from that of the original model. but the failure occurs in the lower zone and results in diagonal cracks. although the tests on both models show high amplification of acceleration at the top of the dome. the basis for the research project on earthquake protection using seismic isolation is the performed "Study for Seismic Strengthening. At occurrence of the first larger cracks.maximum protection” and increases the bearing capacity and ductility of the structure up to a more acceptable level. Figure 1). (M-SN-EXIST. Although certain interventions like incorporation of steel ties. 2 BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT ON SEISMIC ISOLATION As mentioned before. The strengthened model does not suffer separation of bearing walls and vertical crack.14th Century) in Macedonia". it was concluded that it behaved as a rigid body in the elastic range up to amax=0.

particularly those dating from the 9-14th century possess extremely valuable frescoes that are quite small in size. Historic buildings tend to have structural systems that are stiff but brittle. it must be pointed out that application of seismic isolation in historical buildings is recommendable and its wider application should be expected in future. The fresco-paintings on all the walls of the interior of Byzantine churches is maximally protected against possible damage in the course of structural strengthening of the structures so that the process of fresco-conservation and protection runs independently of the structural intervention. The use of an isolation system protects the structural system from the most dangerous frequencies by transferring the demands that would have been placed on the structure to the isolation system. A great number of Byzantine churches. Not only does the system reduce the shock to the structure. for historic monuments. Seismic isolation is very efficient and simple for their conservation. Examples of buildings that make use of this design strategy have been constructed in the United States. However. Taking into account the specific characteristics of the structures and the experimental and analytical investigations that have so far been performed for the needs of application of this methodology. As a conclusion. Macedonia and Italy. the basic concept of the existing structure. performance of analytical and experimental investigations . New Zealand. Japan. 4 EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS OF THE BASE ISOLATED MODEL M-SN-BIC The development of a methodology for application of seismic isolation in Byzantine churches represented by an imposing number of historic monuments located in the Balkan and the Mediterranean region. this technology has been applied mostly to new buildings. and also much lower than the dominant frequencies of the ground motion. which are quite costly and are produced by specified companies. in a certain way. The low horizontal stiffness provides a fundamental period of vibration to the structure that is both much lower than would be the case if it were fixed to the ground. is the main objective of the research project "Earthquake Protection of Byzantine Churches Using Seismic Isolation". it is difficult to estimate the cost of such a protection since seismic isolation has so far been done on a very limited number of monuments. To date. The flaws of the above methodology are the following: • The intervention carried out by incorporation of devices for seismic isolation at the foundation level represents a huge task that modifies. making them vulnerable to those harmonics of the ground motion. • The isolation devices are modern technological products. but it also reduces deformability demand to the structural system. and their dynamic behaviour preferentially amplifies high frequency motion. Seismic isolation systems work by decoupling the building or the structure from the horizontal components of the earthquake ground motion by interposing a layer of low horizontal stiffness between the structure and its foundation. The cost of seismic protection by application of such devices is higher than that of traditional seismic protection.3 SEISMIC BASE ISOLATION – A NEW APPROCH TO EARTHQUAKE RESISTANT DESIGN Seismic isolation is a new approach to earthquake-resistant design that is becoming widely accepted in earthquake-prone regions of the world. This represents a problem in the sense that conservators have to accept this as a possible way of protection in each concrete case. but there are a small number of examples of its application to already existing buildings. a question arises as to what are the advantages and flaws of applying this methodology on Byzantine churches? The main advantages of this methodology are: • • • The complete intervention (construction work) is done at the foundation level so that only conservation work is done on the existing upper structure. In the concrete case.

2000). it may be concluded that the isolation systems with natural material (gravel. Preliminary Experimental Testing of the System of 4 Seismic Isolators In the first phase of the experimental investigations. Selected from the available isolation systems was the "system with neoprene bearings". Figure 3. 2001. (Gavrilovic et al. Based on the results from the analytical investigations performed by use of corresponding models of dynamic response of structures whereas data from literature and performed experimental investigations were used as input characteristics of the isolation systems.with defined criteria and conditions for application becomes a necessity. whereas the application of a modern equipment offers the possibility for controlled behaviour of the structures depending on their characteristics and the characteristics of the equipment. In the process of design of seismic isolation for protection of cultural historic monuments. preliminary dynamic shaking table tests on an appropriately loaded system consisting of 4 isolators have been performed for the purpose of optimization of the isolators and the seismic isolation system as a whole. Figure 2. (Fig. stiffness and expecteddesirable behaviour). variant solutions of different systems and isolation methods have been analyzed. seismic isolators of the type of neoprene bearings combined with steel stoppers for control of displacements and additional hysteretic absorption of seismic energy were specially designed and produced in R. Testing of the system of 4 seismic isolators . (Figure 2). particular emphasis was put on possible isolation by use of natural materials. 3). Macedonia. sand and alike) offer limited possibilities considering their physical characteristics (friction). Kelley et al. a total of 8 bearings with their main characteristics have been designed within the framework of the project activities. Seismic isolator with steel stopper 4. with a particular attention focused on the model to be tested and application in existing structures.1. In addition to the methods and ways of seismic isolation by use of modern technologies. For the needs of testing the model-church. For this system and according to the main characteristics of the structure (weight.

27 0. The characteristics of the new optimized and modified isolators designed for the needs of testing of the church model are given in Table 2.54 0. Figure 4.20 0.11 0. stiffness and expected-desired effect). Macedonia and prepared for shaking table tests combined with corresponding steel stoppers that have been fixed between the model and the steel structure supporting the isolators.08 0. They have been completely manufactured in R.06 0. it can be concluded that the system of isolators behaves successfully due to the decrease of acceleration and displacement in respect to the input quantities amounting to even 60%. Experimental Results for the system of 4 isolators Earthquake El Centro Test EC100 EC200 EC300 EC350 EC400 EC550 PC100 PC200 BC050 BC080 Input acc (g) 0.2.43 0.52 0.19 0.62 0. Steel structure and isolators For such a selected isolation system. View of seismic isolator in action Figure 5.39 Output acc (g) 0.75 g) and for different earthquake records.14 0. Designed and constructed for the optimal system of a total of 8 isolators has been a steel structure for connection of the isolators with the church model structure and the seismic shaking table (Figure 5).07 0.10 0.12 0. detailed analytical investigations have been performed for different levels of input acceleration (amax = 0. Shaking Table Testing of the Base Isolated Church Model M-SN-BIC A total of 8 (eight) bearings have been designed with their main characteristics for the selected system of seismic isolation and according to the main characteristics of the church model (weight. (Figures 2 and 4). 4.05 g .0.Following the output quantities from the tests performed by the earthquake records.25 0.42 0. . (Table 1). it may be concluded that the effect of isolation and dictated-programmed behaviour can be achieved and should be verified by experimental tests of the church model and comparison of the results with those obtained from previous tests.12 Petrovac Breginj From the total results.29 0.18 0. Table 1.

35 77.14 35.0 33. The post-tensioning of the horizontal and vertical reinforcement was completely released thus removing their effectiveness. An analysis of results obtained from the test is given in Table 3.6=3.0 0.0.17 0.e.10 12.0 0.63 Input Disp (mm) 9.8 kN/cm m = 0.26 48. comparison between the most characteristic acceleration (on the base of the tambour and the top of the dome) for three different models and for same levels of input acceleration. The model was subjected to the same series of dynamic tests as before.14 45.0 0. the Original (M-SN-EXIST) and the Strengthened Church Model (M-SN-STR) Table 4 shows the comparison between experimentally obtained results for all three models. i.3.30 0.8)1/2 T= 0.0 0.0 27.13 32.6 kN/cm K8 = 28.97 4. Results of the model M-SN-BIC for different intensities of El Centro earthquake Acc (g) 0. (Figure 6).54 0. The base isolated model labeled M-SN-BIC was then placed on a specially designed steel structure for connection with the isolators and the shaking table.0 36.0 42. Comparative Analysis Between Experimental Results Obtained for the Base Isolated (MSN-BIC).30 63.0 0.0 Top of the dome Acc (g) Disp (mm) 0.1 cm Ng = 10 Nc = 9 Dg = 1.296/28.0 0.09 23. the strengthened model (M-SN-STR) and the base isolated model (MSN-BIC).0 0.10 30.5 cm G=0. due to the base energy dissipation characteristics of the base isolated model.1 cm Total height Total number of rubber elements Total number of steel sheets Thickness of the rubber element Thickness of the steel sheet Sliding modulus of the rubber element Stiffness of an isolator Stiffness of a system of 4 isolators Mass of the church model Expected (designed) period of the base isolated model (T = 2Π√m/K) F = 134. However. Base isolated model M-SN-BIC on shaking table in IZIIS The previously tested damaged model M-SN-STR was repaired and strengthened by crack injection and partial reconstruction.0 0.0 0. i.82 0.7 cm2 H = 15.42 94.21 44.06 11. the original model (M-SN-EXIST).41 0.49 0.0 0.07 15.06 cm Dc = 0.7/10.68 73.31 65.16 40.296 kN sec2/cm T=6.285*134.0 Foundation Acc (g) Disp (mm) 0. .27 . Table 3.28*(0.0 0. the tests were also continued at higher intensities.30 kN/cm2 K=GF/HG=0.Table 2 Characteristics of modified seismic isolators Circular cross-section with D = 13.0 18.0 Base of the tambour Acc (g) Disp (mm) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.e.23 69.60 sec Figure 6.0 0.

The obviously better dynamic behaviour of the base-isolated church model clarified the dilemmas arising in selection of the methods for repair and strengthening of valuable cultural historic monuments. pointed to a decrease of input acceleration in the model structure for 50-60%.47 1.15 0. • • CONCLUSION The main result of the project is demonstration of the efficiency.63g).77 0. amax=0.17 0.41 0. to conceive the efficiency of the applied seismic isolation system. I It was evident that the output displacement and acceleration through the height of the base isolated model were considerably smaller than that for the strengthened model.63 0. amax=0. The tests undoubtedly proved that the new technology of seismic base isolation of historic monuments offers absolute safety and protection and that its application should become an imperative in earthquake protection of historic monuments in future.10 0. (El Centro.35 0.40 0.19 0.17 0.41 0.07 0. particularly if one has in mind that the entire intervention takes place solely below the foundation level.65 0.09 0.82 0.79 M-SN-BIC Base of tambour 0. efficient and economically justified seismic protection.91 0.31 0.54 0.34 Top of the dome 0.60g.30 0.36 0.39 0. The failure mechanism of the base isolated model is completely different from the previous models. especially compared with the results from the previously tested strengthened model by use of "ties and injection". the following can be concluded: • • • • The results from these tests.27 0. Such a scientifically based and verified technology applied in this kind of extraordinarily important structures will enable permanent. economical and conservatory justification of the applied technique of base-isolation on the structure of the church model.49 1. Comparison between the experimental results of three models Output acceleration (in g) for the church models EarthQuake El Centro El Centro El Centro El Centro El Centro El Centro Petrovac Petrovac Breginj Breginj Breginj Input acc (g) 0. When the cracks formed they were in a pattern similar to those of the original model.28 0. the monument was evidently stable and safe.10 0. in the case of M-SN-BIC it was negligible. .87 0.77 0.23 0.55 0.49 0.07 0.68 0.10 1.22 Top of the dome 0.14 Top of the dome 0.38 M-SN-EXIST Base of tambour 0.59 1.10 0.42 0. For all testing up to input acceleration of 0.40 0.20 0.30 0. with the exception of some minor damage. (El Centro.Table 4.54g) were minimal and absolutely allowable and repairable.28 0.10 0.16 0.23 From the comparison of the experimental results for all the three models. The base isolated model did not suffer damage under low and moderate earthquake intensities and the damages under maximum expected accelerations with a return period of 1000 years.48 1. the model was tested under earthquake intensity greater than the expected one. There is also significant difference in the amplification of the dynamic response of the dome structure. the base isolated model behaves as a rigid body without any visible cracks.14 0.20 0. Under this intensity.29 0. Finally.55 0.16 0.15 0.14 0.52 M-SN-STR Base of tambour 0.76 0. as well as technical.

London. EU.. 1-6).1995. Reports IZIIS 500-76-91 (vol. IZIIS 94-68 (vol. Sendova V.2. Vol 3. Earthquake Protection of Byzantine Churches Using Seismic Isolation. Seismic Strengthening and Repair of Byzantine Churches. Ginell W. Sendova V. pp:199-235. IZIIS . . 2001. Joint research project.. Gavrilovic P.. Kelley S. ICOMOS. et al. Sendova V. Kelley S. Conservation and Restoration of Churches Dating from Byzantine Period in Macedonia. No. 11-12).. Special gratitude is extended to the USA-Macedonian joint board for scientific and technical cooperation as well as to the PHARE Cultural Development Program. RZZSK . Imperial College. Gavrilovic P. Report IZIIS.. Seismic Strengthening. GCI -LA.1991 . Turkey.. Sendova V. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on the Seismic Performance of Traditional Buildings. Seismic Protection of Byzantine Churches. Gavrilovic P. 1999. IZIIS 92-71(vol. Macedonian – US joint research.Skopje. for financial support of the project. 2000.Skopje. In: Journal of Earthquake Engineering.ACKNOWLEDGMENT The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Council of IZIIS and to the collaborators from the Dynamic Testing Laboratory of IZIIS for their assistance in the realization of the experimental and in situ investigations.. 7-10). Ginell W. REFERENCES Gavrilovic P. Istanbul..

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