The meaningful seismic events occurred in Italy in the last decades showed the high vulnerability of monumental buildings and in particular of churches. In order to preserve such a precious heritage, operations aimed at the seismic risk mitigation based on the definition of suitable vulnerability assessment procedure are necessary. The high hazard of the Italian Peninsula and the huge amount of ecclesiastic buildings located in the exposed territories, stress the need to face the problem with innovative large-scale approaches. In this study, an architectural-engineering integrated procedure for the seismic assessment of existing masonry churches at a regional scale is proposed. Based on accurate historical investigation of typical Abruzzi churches, a typological characterization has been established, aimed at recognizing the common geometrical and constructive features of two types of medieval churches widespread in this area. Then, a numerical analysis has been carried out. In particular, by assuming simplified modelling hypotheses, two FE models representative of significant real cases have been implemented in Abaqus. By the elastic analyses, the main collapse mechanisms and the corresponding activation seismic accelerations have been determined. The obtained outcomes show an acceptable correspondence with the actual seismic damage revealed on similar churches in the aftermath of last seismic events, corroborating the reliability of the adopted integrated approach.
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