Integrated Empirical-mechanical Seismic Vulnerability Analysis Method for Masonry Buildings in Timișoara: Validation based on the 2009 Italian Earthquake

Nicola Chieffo1, *, Iasmina Onescu1, Antonio Formisano2, Marius Mosoarca1, Marius Palade3
1 Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Politehnica University of Timişoara, Traian Lalescu Street, 300223 Timișoara, Romania
2 Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, School of Polytechnic and Basic Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II” P.le V. Tecchio, 80125 Naples, Italy
3 S.C. H.I. STRUCT s.r.l Ciocârliei Street, 300600 Timișoara, Romania

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© 2020 Chieffo et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Politehnica University of Timişoara, Traian Lalescu Street, 300223 Timișoara, Romania; E-mail:



Timisoara is one of the most important Romanina cities, located in the Banat area and characterised by shallow earthquakes with high ground motion vertical component. The seismicity of the area, in accordance with the P-100 Romanian Code, is affected by medium-high hazard level with an expected maximum PGA of 0.20 g.

From a historical-artistic point of view, the city of Timisoara is full of monumental buildings of inestimable values and it was declared as the European Capital of Culture for 2021.


The present work aims to investigate the seismic vulnerability of masonry buildings located in the districts of Fabric and Iosefin, which were grouped in typology classes based on the EMS-98 scale according to their geometrical and structural characteristics.


The performed vulnerability analysis is based on a combined empirical-mechanical procedure to estimate the propensity at the damage of the buildings surveyed.


A specific formulation was proposed for typological vulnerability curves of building classes of the examined area, which were calibrated on the basis of the damages detected after occurred earthquakes.


The proposed formulation was validated from the application to an urban sector of the municipality of San Pio delle Camere (Italy), which was damaged after the 2009 Abruzzo earthquake.

Keywords: Vulnerability assessment, Masonry buildings, Large-scale analysis, Empirical methods, Mechanical methods, Damage scenarios, Vulnerability curves.