SIMULATION TOOLS TO SUPPORT THE UNDERSTANDING OF PHYSICAL PHENOMENA IN MASONRY
A big amount of physical phenomena affect to the masonry, such as gravity, temperature, wind, moisture changes, ... Each of these phenomena influence the behavior and durability of the masonry element.
The master classes have been the traditional way to transmit this knowledge to students. The consequences of these phenomena were not directly seen in these theoretical lessons, so that the students did not see the consequences until their real practice of architecture.
A new study methodology is developed in this paper. This methodology helps students of architecture to visualize these phenomena and their pathological consequences in a more interactive way. So it provides students with tools to prevent future injuries in construction.
Current tools are able to display a wide range of physical phenomena in a graphical and realistic way. Therefore the students can study and internalize the behavior of the masonry. The experience of the teaching staff confirms the effectiveness of this methodology. This aspect is demonstrated in the widespread success of students in qualifications obtained.
The main steps of this methodology are:
a) Brief theoretical explanation of the brick facades discussing its historical evolution, existing typologies (conventional and ventilated façade) and its construction process. The literature of the subject is used at this point. This includes a catalog of construction details and photographs of real buildings. Real pathological cases, as a result of physical phenomena, such as cracking, thermal bridges and moisture, appear in this catalog.
b) Computer practices on façade models simulated previously, due to the laboriousness of the data entry, which includes the geometry, boundary conditions, physical environment, loads, ... At this moment the student interacts with the program and internalize the processes of cracking, strain, stress, temperature, steam, moisture, ...
c) The completion of a short test that measures the success of the methodology. This helps the student to draw conclusions from the data obtained with the software. The student realizes that what they are seeing is real. These are cases that might arise in their profession.
We have shown that the use of simulated models is a great learning aid. The new aspect of this methodology is the interactivity in physical phenomena.