J. López López

University of Alicante (SPAIN)
The growing number of buildings affected by structural pathologies, demands a deep study to find out their possible causes and reach. This way we can give an accurate diagnosis, besides proposing the optimal solutions. The work shown here represents the experience and results obtained throughout the subject called “Pathologies and rehabilitation in construction” taught in the fourth year of civil engineering degree at the University of Alicante (Spain). The course had a total of 90 hours and 30 of them will be used to develop some practices and make visits to different real structural reinforcement works during their execution.

The main goal was to approach the student to the rehabilitation field and their structural analysis throughout the development of different practical proposals. All the works involved the learning of specific structures software which represent for the student not only a very important tool during the course but also for their professional future. Besides, the use of computers will give them the needed intuition to understand the structural behavior depending on the different building and construction typologies.The advantage of this process lies in its instant parameterization, showing automatically the safety factor or percentage of compliance that offers the building structure in that precise moment.

Classes were organized in three sessions. The first one starts with the checkup of the proposed project, and involves the use of Microsoft Excel software to collect different data in tabs grouped by lesion’s morphology and location. Through these tabs we can see graphically the lesion’s evolution over time, determining the dangerousness of them.

The second session explains the use of CYPECAD and other specific software to model the structure, to introduce the actions and to check the results. In this part the students carried out two considerations: the first one considering the weaked structure analysis and the second one studying the optimal structure state, with all the safety factors given by regulations. The use of a specific software and computer aplications has a lot of interest, because usually these complex calculations represent iterative processes very difficult to carry on by hand.

Finally the last sesion show the study of both structures and the previous analysis done. In this stage the results are collected in one final Excel tab which contrasts graphically how the state of the current structure approaches to the ideal structural state and regulations requirements, offering the compliance percentage by element or taking into consideration the whole building. As a final challenge the student is proposed to explain enhancement ways in order to restore the damaged elements.

Throughout these practices it has been observed an increasing interest in the student to understand the nature of the buildings injured and their behavior. An interest that is reinforced by the growing demand looking for specialized technicians in the field of rehabilitation.