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Open and fully compatible next generation of strengthening system for the Rehabilitation of Mediterranean cultural heritage

Final Report Summary - OPERHA (Open and fully compatible next generation of strengthening system for the rehabilitation of Mediterranean cultural heritage)

The ultimate aim of the OPERHA project was to design, develop, test and validate an adaptable and reversible restoration solution for structural strengthening of historical buildings in Europe and the Mediterranean area with the use of advanced composite materials such as the fibre reinforced polymer. Main advances with regard to state-of-the- art were expected for both the laminated and anchoring system. Strong focus was laid on providing an integrated solution, bridging technical, architectural and socio-economic settings. Special attention should be paid to minimise any visual impact during the restoration of the ancient building, namely perform as few intervention actions as possible on the structure during and after its strengthening.

The objectives of the project were the following:
- establish the adaptability of the Textile reinforced masonry (TRM) structural strengthening system of historical building by the design of an 'open' and 'fully compatible' solution;
- define the material components ('body of materials') and their user guide ('body of assistance');
- the scientific and technological validation of the materials, anchoring systems and 1:3 scale models of the TRM strengthening system;
- the final validation through low-impact pilot case studies all around the Mediterranean countries;
- establish the political and social aspects that could foster cultural sustainable restoration by evaluating the historical and cultural compatibility with the heritage site

The aim of the project would be achieved by means of the following research activities:
- identify the most important requirements for strengthening the ancient structures;
- design and develop all the elements of the strengthening integrated package in order to be applied in structural reinforcements of historic buildings;
- verify, both at laboratory medium and small-medium scale, all the materials to be included in the FRP system;
- four real case studies should be selected in order to validate the lab achievements;
- compare the new integrated solution (full compatible strengthening system) of OPERHA with traditional in order to present the clear advantages of the new system referred to reduce cultural impacts and to improve the social and economic conditions of the surroundings inhabitant areas, by their involvement in the rehabilitation process;
- dissemination, training and exploitation activities