Structural analysis of a vault of the administration building of the Hospital Sant Pau
Tutor / directorRoca Fabregat, Pedro
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
The main goal of this thesis is to assess the load-carrying capacity of one of the vaults located on the Administration Building of the Hospital Sant Pau, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Barcelona, Spain. Firstly, a brief historical survey of the city and the complex is done, in order to understand the hospital complex’s own cultural, social and environmental values. Also, an introduction to timbrel construction -the constructive technique used for building all the hospital vaults- is detailed, explaining the execution process and the historical development, reviewing the state of the art on timbrel construction analysis and describing the most common timbrel vault typologies built. The main available methods for studying masonry historical constructions are detailed, an introduction to the history of shell structures analysis is provided and some of the most recent studies regarding timbrel constructions analysis are presented. Secondly, the main characteristics of the numerical model are covered, like the mesh generated, type of elements used, integration schemes, material modelling and iterative procedure implemented. Then, the numerical model development process is explained, till a satisfactory representation of the real structure is achieved. By this, the load-carrying capacity of the vault is assessed. In addition, a brief parametrical analysis varying the values of compression strength and fracture energy is provided. Finally, some conclusions and recommendations for future analysis are given. The results of the study constitute an important support to the structural assessment of the building and can contribute to the evaluation of further studies or possible interventions.