In many historical centres in Europe, stone masonry buildings are part of building aggregates, which developed when the layout of the city or village was densified. In these aggregates, adjacent buildings share structural walls to support floors and roofs. Meanwhile, the masonry walls of the façades of adjacent buildings are often connected by dry joints since adjacent buildings were constructed at different times. Observations after for example the recent Central Italy earthquakes showed that the dry joints between the building units were often the first elements to be damaged. As a result, the joints opened up leading to pounding between the building units and a complicated interaction at floor and roof beam supports. The analysis of such building aggregates is very challenging and modelling guidelines do not exist. Advances in the development of analysis methods have been impeded by the lack of experimental data on the seismic response of such aggregates. The objective of the project AIMS (Seismic Testing of Adjacent Interacting Masonry Structures), included in the H2020 project SERA, is to provide such experimental data by testing an aggregate of two buildings under two horizontal components of dynamic excitation. The test unit is built at half-scale, with a two-storey building and a one-storey building. The buildings share one common wall while the façade walls are connected by dry joints. The floors are at different heights leading to a complex dynamic response of this smallest possible building aggregate. The shake table test is conducted at the LNEC seismic testing facility. The testing sequence comprises four levels of shaking: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of nominal shaking table capacity. Extensive instrumentation, including accelerometers, displacement transducers and optical measurement systems, provides detailed information on the building aggregate response. Special attention is paid to the interface opening, the global behaviour in relation to the interface separation, interstorey drifts and out-of-plane displacements.
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