CORDIS - EU research results



Executive Summary:
The project aims at developing innovative systems for masonry enclosures, to be used for façades, envelopes and internal partitions of reinforced concrete framed buildings, to derive sound concepts for their analysis and to develop reliable, simple and efficient methods for their design in the everyday engineering practice.
Masonry enclosure systems have excellent, yet still improvable, performance with respect to healthy indoor environment, temperature, noise, moisture, fire and durability. However, they have been considered for long time as non-load-bearing, non-structural elements. In reality, they can play a structural role in the overall seismic behaviour of buildings. Enclosure walls need to be checked against excessive damage and potential out-of-plane collapse. Under this respect, as proven by recent earthquakes, if they are not properly detailed to accommodate seismic loads and correctly designed, they represent a significant hazard and can result in extensive economic losses as well as in a source of danger for human lives. Hence, it is necessary to reconsider the structural role of enclosures, in order to establish reliable analysis and design procedures and to provide background for an update of current structural codes.
The approach adopted in the project started from material and technology development. Technical and economic feasibility of the developed construction systems was demonstrated performing parallel experimental and theoretical studies and validated by prototypes construction. Experimental and numerical characterization was aimed at deriving structural requirements for masonry infill walls, as well as tools and methods for their assessment. The research was able to offer innovative solutions to scientific and technological problems which have a broad-spectrum impact. The experience of SME associations involved in the project, with the aid of all the partners, ensured that the needs of large communities of SMEs were met.
Project Context and Objectives:
The use of masonry infill walls and, to a certain extent, veneer walls, especially in reinforced concrete (RC) framed structures, is widespread in many countries. Most of the codes have recognized that also non-structural elements need to be designed for earthquake actions, in relation to different performance levels. However, sound design procedures still do not exist. The European structural codes for design of reinforced concrete [Eurocode 2] and masonry buildings [Eurocode 6] do not specify details, performance requirements, or compliance criteria for the safe use of masonry enclosures, nor for the behaviour at serviceability and ultimate limit states.
In this context, the main aim of the project was to address common technological problems faced by SMEs, indirectly supported by their Associations, related to the implementation of masonry enclosures in seismic areas and pre-normative research issues, through the development of new products and technologies, and through the development of design procedures. As so, INSYSME did not directly address specific needs or problems of the SMEs, but through the definition of performance requirements and design methods, allowed defining practical and regulatory (to be introduced into the codes) measures, that are useful for the entire sector, thus meeting the basic concepts of the ‘Research for SME-AGs’ formula.
Enclosure "specialization" for adequate earthquake resistance was the core of the project and consisted in defining integrated and innovative systems, such as to:
• optimize (maximize) the local structural performance, by limiting damage under the most frequent (and less intense) earthquakes and minimizing the probability of detachment and out-of-plane collapse under the effects of the most intense, i.e. The “design”, earthquakes (for verification at the ultimate limit state);
• minimize the negative effects that inadequate design and construction of enclosures walls cause on the global structural behaviour of the RC framed structure under the effect of the design earthquake, i.e. at the ultimate limit state;
• enhance and exploit the non-structural performance of the infill/veneer walls, i.e. from one side, all the properties related to environmental, energy saving and comfort aspects, but also, on the other side, those related to the capacity of limiting damage under serviceability limit states, thanks to the use of innovative smart solutions.
The principal objective of the project was thus to identify and develop optimized new masonry enclosure solutions for enhanced earthquake resistance, respecting local materials and construction practice, and to provide clear design rules, so that the proposed systems can be used effectively. The release of design, detailing and construction guidelines for masonry infills and veneers, as well as accompanying software for design, was aimed to constitute a helpful additional tool to promote the new systems. Clearly, referring to constructive solutions having a strong and long-lasting tradition, as in the case of clay masonry, the innovative character of the proposed systems could not be sought exclusively in the development of thoroughly new materials and construction techniques, but in the smart combination of (i) conventional materials (i.e. clay brick or block masonry units, mortar) and/or innovative materials (e.g. clay masonry units of particular shape, sliding mortar, various steel components), (ii) sophisticated enhancement techniques (e.g. through application of reinforcement, connectors/fasteners, joints, angles, shelves) and (iii) original design methods.
Possible types of innovative masonry enclosure systems developed, with reference to their main conceptual characteristics and details described as follows, may be divided in three major groups:
1. systems built of conventional material components, following original design methods,
2. systems built of conventional material components and applying sophisticated enhancement techniques, following original design methods
3. systems built of innovative material components, following original design methods.
The numerical and experimental work of the project mainly focused on how the structural response of the frame influence the behaviour of the infill, with the aim to provide original integrated solutions with respect to the choice of materials, design, detailing and construction, for a wide range of earthquake resistant masonry enclosures, addressing both in- and out-of-plane damage control.
One of the main aspects in this field was the definition of seismic input, in the out-of-plane direction, under which the infill wall must be verified. The definition of seismic input, which is necessary for the design of the walls, call for further research, and indeed this topic was investigated in the framework of the proposed project, by means of linear and non-linear dynamic analyses (calibrated on the basis of experimental dynamic tests presented in next Section). On the basis of the extensive numerical calculations carried out, it will also be possible to have new findings on the above-mentioned, direct problems related to the influence of infill walls on the frame.
Based on the numerical analyses and experimental tests carried out it was possible, first of all, to define the structural performance requirements of non-structural elements on the basis of the overall performance level defined for the building. The experimental and numerical work led to the development and calibration of formulations and procedures for out-of-plane verification.
The main scientific and technological objectives were:
a) organisation of a comprehensive catalogue of different structural frame typologies and related types of enclosures systems. Definition of: enclosure systems damage, sources of deficient performance and failure mechanisms; enclosure walls requirements and design parameters, for guiding the knowledge-based development of new products and technologies as well as the optimization of design procedures;
b) development of advanced materials (masonry units, mortar, reinforcement, connectors/fasteners etc.), innovative technologies and building process for infill and veneer walls, diversified according to seismic risk level, regional construction traditions and environmental conditions. This will aim at reducing the possibilities of seismic damage and failures, fulfilling all necessary functional (thermal, acoustic and deformational), durability and sustainability requirements;
c) experimental characterization at material and masonry assembly level, for deriving the main constitutive laws relevant for numerical simulation. Activities will include development of test set-ups and testing strategies for frame/enclosure walls sub-assemblies and experimental testing for evaluating the system performance and the influence of the wall in-plane damage on the out-of-plane response;
d) numerical simulation of the behaviour of bare frames and frames with infill/veneer walls for evaluating their mutual influence in the seismic response and clarifying the seismic load acting on the non-structural elements. Results will be used for design purposes;
e) numerical parametrical assessment of enclosure walls to define critical mechanical parameters, seek for structural limitations of the intended technologies and thus to develop rules for optimized design;
f) experimental quantitative characterization of the overall seismic response of model buildings and of the frame-to-enclosure wall dynamic interaction by shaking table tests, to validate and obtain information on the system performance of the developed solutions;
g) manufacturing of prototype products (masonry units, mortar, reinforcement, connectors/fasteners etc.), design and construction of prototype enclosure walls for assessment and demonstration of constructability and cost-efficiency. Calibration of non-destructive on-site testing procedure for final validation of the proposed technologies and for setting-up quality assessment procedures;
h) implementation of the project results into software package and design guidelines for an effective and large-scale applicability of the proposed technologies and design methods, and subsequent transfer into codes of practice and standards. The guidelines will cover: (i) construction and site related aspects; (ii) design rationales and procedures;
i) dissemination and exploitation of the project results. These objectives will also be pursued by promoting standardization in the relevant field. The environmental, economic and societal outcomes of the project, i.e. reducing energy consumption (LC and thermal efficient enclosure systems), improving the quality of life (healthy indoor environment in buildings, crack-free and aesthetically satisfactory external building appearance), and increasing safety (seismic resistant enclosure systems), will be considered.
In synthesis, the main innovations of the project are:
• Advanced innovative building technologies for enclosures (with respect to units, reinforcement, fasteners/connectors, mortar, and their assemblages), diversified according to seismic risk levels, regional construction traditions and environmental conditions, satisfying all requirements of insulation, indoor comfort, durability, sustainability, as well as serviceability and ultimate limit states;
• New and/or advanced testing procedures for the experimental assessment of the combined in-plane out-of-plane behaviour of infills and validation/qualification of the developed solutions;
• Definition of the interaction between frame and infill, in terms of seismic input on the infill for various frame conditions (type, elastic or inelastic behaviour, etc.), and seismic risk level;
• Original and complete sets of guidelines (i) for the design of RC structures with enclosure walls, (ii) for the design, detailing and construction of enclosure walls, including assessment of in-plane strength and of out-of-plane strength for varying level of in-plane damage, as well as the definition of relevant limit states for different infill/veneer typologies, and (iii) for the verification of ties, fasteners/connectors and other components in special systems;
• Transfer of guidelines for design, detailing and construction into standards;
• Advanced practical tools for the analysis and design of enclosure walls (design charts, software package etc.);
Achievement of public knowledge in terms of understanding, acceptance and use of the new systems, as well of the new design provisions by end users of different nations.
Project Results:
To present the main S&T results an overview of the actions carried out in the project, divided per Work Packages is given.

The objectives of WP3 can be summarised as follows:
• Definition of typical structural frames types and enclosure/veneer wall systems - reached;
• Definition of the main requirements and design parameters for the enclosure/veneer walls and their components (masonry units, reinforcement, fastenings, mortar, etc.), not only under the mechanical, but also under the habitability point of view - reached;
• Development of new products (masonry units, reinforcement and connections) and adequate and feasible construction technology for new masonry wall enclosures, in compliance with the performance requirements – reached;
• Production of components (masonry units, reinforcement and fastenings) required for testing and case studies – reached.
During the last the reporting period the activities continued to be carried out to improve the identified solutions and to develop products that are suitable in real buildings. In the first period three main types of solutions have been identified for the development of innovative enclosure masonry systems. The main goal is to solve the above-mentioned problems arising under the point of view of seismic behaviour. Notwithstanding, problems and aspects also related to the service behaviour and to non-mechanical behaviour of the infill walls, are tackled.
The main concepts on which the three systems rely are:
a. Keeping the enclosure wall rigidly attached (adherent) to the frame, but using either or both robust units and internal (mainly steel rebars, as in reinforced load bearing masonry) or external (mainly reinforced plasters) reinforcements. For this concept type, the following partners have proposed distinct systems/solutions: (UMINHO and CTCV; UNI KASSEL, SDA and ZIEGEL; METU and TUKDER; H.I. STRUCT)
b. Keeping the enclosure wall rigidly attached (adherent) to the frame, or slightly disconnected, but allowing the internal deformation of the wall to occur, by means of special devices, special units, or special sliding vertical or horizontal joint. For this concept type, the following partners have proposed distinct systems/solutions: (UNIPD and ANDIL; UMINHO and CTCV; UNIPV, ANDIL and RUREDIL; NTUA and XALKIS; METU and TUKDER)
c. Disconnecting the enclosure system form the top beam and/or from the columns, in order to allow relative displacements between the wall and the frame to occur without interactions. (UNI KASSEL, SDA and ZIEGEL)
In the framework of the project also hybrid systems (systems applying more than one solution above described) have been taken into account.
Each partner or group of partners have described the developed system and related materials requirements. On the one hand, in fact, the infill wall/frame interaction changes in the three systems, so that there are design implications to be taken into account for the frame. On the other hand, the wall structural requirements change as well as the non-structural ones is affected by the different behaviour. All of this reflects on the requirements and the design and choice of the materials (units, reinforcements, mortar, special devices, etc.) used for the system definition.
• UNIPD and ANDIL proposed a system named DRES (Damage Reduction Enclosure System) that belong to the concept b). DRES system is characterised by a single-leaf clay masonry enclosure with horizontal deformable joints to be employed in low to medium height residential or commercial RC frame buildings in regions prone to medium/high intensity earthquakes. This system can be used both in new buildings and in existing buildings when infills have to be substituted. The system uses thick vertically perforated clay blocks and introduces special horizontal deformable joints in the infill wall. The units must guarantee the robustness to sustain the in-plane and out-of-plane design loads. The special joints are characterised by a low shear stiffness along the in-plane direction, high shear stiffness along the out-of-plane direction and high compression stiffness along the vertical direction. In addition, the system has two deformable joints between the masonry infill and the RC columns characterised by a low compression stiffness in order to reduce displacement requirements for the infill and avoid stress concentrations that may damage the frame columns and the masonry infill itself. The first version of the horizontal deformable joint (DRES-V1) was 15mm thick and characterised by smooth surfaces that led to shear sliding. To reduce sliding phenomena an improved version of the joint (DRES-V2) have been developed. This version is characterised by surfaces with small pins that increase the adherence. Thanks to data gathered from the tests carried out on the real-scale infilled frames, the need of different shear stiffness in the two horizontal directions (in-plane and out-of-plane) was strongly scaled down. Therefore, it was decided to use simplified and different deformable elements, which have isotropic properties, and that do not need to rely on a special shape. This new kind of rubber product allowed a great reduction of material costs (about 1/3) and gave the possibility to reduce the environmental impact thanks to the use of recycled rubber instead of natural rubber. Two version of this deformable join type have been developed: the DRES-V3 and the DRES-V4 which are characterised by a 15mm and 4mm thick core respectively.
• UMINHO proposed two systems named Térmico system and Uniko System that belong the concept a) (Enclosures rigidly attached to the frame, with internal / external reinforcement) and b) (Enclosure systems allowing internal deformation of the wall), respectively.
• Térmico system (concept a)) is a single-leaf clay masonry enclosure to be taken for low to medium height residential/commercial RC buildings with framed structure and for zones prone to medium intensity earthquakes. In this masonry infill system, a commercial vertical perforated clay masonry unit produced in Portugal was selected. The proposed system provides mortar bed joints and dry head joints with interlocking shape. A general-purpose M10 mortar is used in this system. To improve the in-plane and out-of-plane performance of masonry infill walls, every two masonry rows a truss reinforcement is embedded in bed joints. Additionally, the walls are connected to the columns by means of metallic connectors at each bed joint where truss reinforcement is applied.
• Uniko system (concept b), as the previous system, is a single-leaf clay masonry enclosure to be taken for low to medium height residential/commercial RC buildings with framed structure and for zones prone to medium intensity earthquakes. Vertical perforated clay masonry units with vertical interlocking are used. Uniko system has a specific masonry construction process characterised by aligned vertical joints that allow sliding between contiguous masonry columns. The out-of-plane strength is guaranteed by the use of vertical steel rebars that are connected to top and bottom beams.
• UNIPV, ANDIL and RUREDIL proposed an innovative masonry infill system with “sliding joints” every 3/4 courses of masonry units (concept b)). The proposed system aims to reduce the in-plane interaction between the masonry infill and the RC frame, dividing the masonry panel in four horizontal stripes, able to slide one on each other through properly conformed “sliding joints”. The energy dissipated through the “sliding joints” should also provide additional damping to the structure. Each “sliding joint” is constituted by a ribbed profile in “plastic-type” material bedded in the mortar joints. Between the masonry and the RC members, 2/3 cm thick joints filled with a specific small stiffness cement-based mortar are provided, keeping the adherence between the masonry infill and the RC frame. The masonry is made up by in-plane robust and strong clay units and general purpose mortar. The out-of-plane stability is guaranteed by suitable designed “shear keys” attached to the columns; the units at the edges of the infill adjacent to the columns and to the openings are shaped with a recess in order to accommodate the shear keys.
• NTUA and XALKIS proposed two systems named INSYSTEM 1 and 2, which are single leaf clay masonry infill that can be used for typical RC buildings and for medium to high seismicity areas:
• INSYSTEM 1 is slightly disconnected from the RC frame and it allows the internal deformation of the wall to occur by means of vertical sliding joints (concept b)). The masonry wall is divided by vertical mortar joints into smaller masonry walls. As a consequence, the smaller walls are slender as compared to the initial one and thus, the shear failure of the masonry infill (as a whole) is avoided. Thus, the smaller walls are subjected primarily to bending, allowing the wall (as a whole) to receive higher storey drifts. The enclosure wall is connected to the columns using a special mortar of high deformability, which has also efficient insulation properties. The out-of-plane collapse of the walls is prevented using special sliding steel connectors that are not connected to the RC frame. The system is independent from the brick unit and, for INSYSME project, a brick produced by XALKIS and already available on the market has been used.
• INSYSTEM 2 uses wall with horizontal or horizontal and vertical reinforcement in order to enhance the in-plane deformability of the infill (concept b)). A special unit was designed by NTUA and XALKIS. Depending on performance criteria set by the Engineer (based on serviceability and ultimate limit state criteria), the percentage of the reinforcement (horizontal and vertical) are estimated. The horizontal reinforcement is laid during the construction of the wall on the bed mortar joints, whereas the vertical one is placed (in special cavities) before placing the last row of the wall. Furthermore, special cavities are provided to avoid random placement of installations (such as electrical installations), which is usually performed with a local destruction of the walls. It has to be noted that the horizontal and vertical reinforcement is not connected to the RC frame. Finally, the out-of- plane collapse of the wall is prevented using special sliding connectors.
• UNI KASSEL, SDA and ZIEGEL developed two systems named IMES and INODIS that belong to the above-mentioned concept c) (Disconnect the enclosure system form the top beam and/or from the columns). The aim of these systems is to prevent the premature failure of the enclosure and to improve the overall structural dynamic behaviour of RC structure. Both systems rely on the application of elastomeric joint between the enclosure and the RC frame, which lead to a partial decoupling of the in-plane deformations of RC-frame and masonry infill. By varying the stiffness and thickness of the elastomer it is quite easy to adapt the systems to different levels of earthquakes loadings. Moreover, due to the viscoelastic behaviour of the elastomeric joints, additional damping is provided. To provide an adequate out-of-plane load transfer the IMES system provides additional fasteners that constrain the sole out-of-plane displacements of the enclosure. The fasteners are an innovative combination of elastomers, shear connectors with longitudinal movement capability and C-shaped bricks.
• METU developed three systems: The first system belongs to the concept a) and is characterised by a bilateral exterior reinforcing of infill walls with a light mesh reinforcement without connection to the bounding frame and application of regular plaster over the mesh for protection against corrosion. Without need for skilled manpower or special devices, bilateral mesh reinforcement is cost efficient and easy to be applied for existing or new infilled RC buildings in earthquake prone regions. The second system, named Infill-tie, belongs to the concept a) and is characterised by connections between the masonry infill and the bounding RC frame so that sliding type of failure at IP direction is achieved and the out-of-plane collapse of the enclosure under OOP accelerations is prevented. This is accomplished through a simple slotted metal connector shaped like a dog bone that is connected to a closed U shaped steel profile fixed to column face with dowels. The connection only works in the horizontal direction and enables free movement in the vertical direction, which allows flexibility during construction of the wall. The third system, named Locking Brick system, belongs to the concept b) and is characterised by a smart use of W class perforated clay bricks with dry vertical joints, resulting in better seismic performance. Slip planes are formed at each mortar bed joint at which internal deformations concentrate. Gap between the upper beam and the infill wall is filled with mortar so that OOP resistance relies on arching mechanism. The most attractive part of the locking brick systems is its practicality. Using available material and workmanship at the market and without any extra cost improvement in seismic performance is achieved.
• H.I. STRUCT proposed a system composed of a single-leaf clay masonry infill wall which can be used in frame buildings situated in zones with medium and high intensity earthquakes. This system can be used in new constructed buildings or it can be applied to existing buildings with infill walls which need to be strengthened. The proposed system refers to an exterior reinforcing of the infill walls with an aramid mesh embedded in a hydraulic mortar and polypropylene bands, which provides an increased out-of-plane resistance to seismic actions. These system is advantageous because it uses simple materials and does not require skilled manpower to be installed.
Final versions of each of these systems are detailed in Deliverable D3.4.

The objectives of WP4 can be summarised as follows:
1. Numerical simulation of the behaviour of bare frames and frames with enclosure/veneer walls to define their mutual influence in the seismic response - reached;
2. Performing sensitivity studies aimed at defining the seismic input on the non-structural elements - reached;
3. Performing parametric numerical analysis in order to seek for the influence of in-plane damage on the out-of-plane response of masonry walls; for the structural limitations of the intended technologies; and for the detailed interaction of structural and non-structural elements - reached;
4. Providing design procedures and design charts for a wide range of enclosure walls and veneers, and assisting the drafting of design guidelines - reached.
Work package 4 run between December 2013 to December 2016. In the scope of Task 4.1 a first step was the definition of possible numerical strategies that could be used in the numerical simulation of RC frames with masonry infill (D4.1 “Report about optimal modelling strategies for bare and infilled frames”). In the second step, the calibration of numerical models based on macro-modelling approach was carried out by comparing the numerical response with experimental results obtained in static cyclic in-plane tests. The calibrated models were then used in Task 4.3 for the parametric study. Deliverable D4.3 related to the accuracy and reliability of the macro-modelling strategies was completed.
The detailed numerical analysis of the in-plane and out-of-plane behaviour of RC frames with new brick masonry infills was carried out based on micro- and meso-modelling approaches (Task 4.2). It was possible to calibrate the numerical finite element models taking into account advanced constitutive material laws for masonry, concrete and reinforcements and well as for other new material developed for the new infills. In general, all the proposed models were able to capture the main features of the new systems developed. The calibrated models were then used in Task 4.3 for the parametric study. Deliverable D4.2 related to the accuracy and reliability of the micro- and meso-modelling strategies was completed.
An extensive numerical parametric study was developed according to the multi-level numerical modelling carried out on Task 4.1 and Task4.2. Therefore, Task 4.3 was divided in two main parts, namely (1) parametric study for the assessment of the influence of key material properties (masonry, interfaces, reinforcements, new material for sliding joints) and geometrical parameters (for example height to length ratio, thickness to height ratio, level of vertical load in the columns) on the in-plane and out-of-plane of the new masonry infill walls. This parametric study made use of the calibrated micro-models for the detailed in-plane and out-of-plane analysis; (2) parametric study on multi-level RC frames with several geometric configuration and masonry infill distribution based on non-linear static (pushover) analysis and seismic nonlinear dynamic analysis. A comparative study on the seismic performance level of the different solution developed for masonry infills was also carried out on a designed reference building to seismic action according to European standards.
In regards to numerical modelling:
UMINHO proposed two micro-models for the one macro-model for D4.3:
• For the numerical modelling of the in-plane behaviour, UMINHO developed a finite element model considering the masonry infill as a homogeneous and isotropic material. The numerical calibration has been carried out based on the experimental results of the quasi-static cyclic tests performed by UMINHO (D5.3). Beside the analysis or RC infilled frame, analyses were performed for in-plane testing of RC frames with masonry infills with different solution presented previously.
• For the out–of-plane behaviour, an innovative discrete macro-model, able to simulate the non-linear behaviour of the masonry and the non-linear interaction between the frame and the infill, is used. The mechanical parameters of the model are calibrated by using the experimental bending tests, performed on several panels constituted by the same masonry used for making the prototypes. Two different modelling approaches are used in the numerical simulations: an equivalent "macro- modelling" approach, in which a regular mesh of quadrangular elements is considered, and a "distinct-element" approach in which the real texture of the masonry is reproduced. The calibrated numerical model for Uniko system was used to carry on a parametric study, taking into consideration material properties alterations, vertical load levels and geometric alterations.
• Parametric investigations for the out –of-plane were carried out with reference to the unreinforced System 2 infilled frame System 2 with the aim to investigate the influence of the variability of the main characteristics of the infill, on the numerical response. In these analyses both geometrical and mechanical aspects are considered; for each of them several parameters are investigated. The macro-model has been calibrated on experimental results and further analysis of real scale walls were performed. For this, the SeismoStruct (2010) fibre element software were used. The parametric study carried out by UMINHO following the macro-modelling approach was focused on the influence of the scattered distribution of masonry infills in the in-plane nonlinear static behaviour of the reference RC frame provided by UNIPV. Three different levels of seismicity, corresponding to design peak ground accelerations ag on ground type A equal to 0.10g 0.25g and 0.35g have been considered. In order to evaluate the influence of the slenderness of the frame in the response bare and infilled frame, additional analyses were done. For this purpose, 5 frames with various aspect ratios were selected. The height to length ratio of the considered frames was 0.27 0.5 0.75 1.5 and 3.
UNIPD has pursued two different approaches:
• A meso-model in DIANA was developed in order to reproduce in-plane behaviour of the system, which is composed of a RC frame and a masonry infill realised both with and without special rubber joints. In-plane analysis has been carried out on this model and the results will be compared with the experimental results obtained within WP5 further on. Beside this, local analyses were performed in order to study the interface behaviour of the rubber joint, through the characterization tests performed in WP5. This interface has been be used for modelling the infilled RC frame with DRES. Starting from the model the deliverable D4.2 with the DRES, a parametrical study has been carried out. The aim of the parametrical study was to extend the results obtained in the experimental campaign. Variations have been carried out both changing the geometry of the frame (frame ratio, thickness of the infill and presence of opening) and changing the position (numbers of horizontal joints, influence of the vertical joint) and the properties of the joints of the proposed system (tangential stiffness and frictional behaviour).
• A macro-model, implemented in OpenSees software and based on experimental evidences consisting of a horizontal Kelvin element added to the of the frame modelled through beam elements with fibre sections. The model is conceived to assess only the in-plane behaviour. In the out-of-plane behaviour there are no effects of energy dissipation in the interaction with the RC frame, and the formation of the arch mechanism is similar to that of a traditional RC infilled frame. The parametric study considered 9 different geometrical configurations, with a different number of bays “n” and storeys “m” (n x m). The same configuration was tested before as “bare frame” and then as “infilled frame”.
NTUA adopted two micro-modelling approaches:
• a three dimensional elasticity model for the in-plane and the out-of-plane loading cases and a plane stress model for the in-plane loading cases. One model was constructed for each infill system (namely, reference infill, INSYSTEM 1, INSYSTEM 1 with opening and INSYSTEM 2). The outline of the models, the calibration of initial material parameters, boundary conditions and analysis procedures are presented in D4.2 in full detail. Then, a parametric study was carried out, in order to investigate the effect of several parameters on the (in-plane and out-of-plane) response of the infilled RC frame. For this purpose, the plane stress model was used for the in-plane loading cases, whereas the three dimensional model was applied for the out-of-plane loading cases. The three dimensional model also was used for the study of the effect of out-of-plane loading on the in-plane behaviour of the frame. presents the parameters studied for the purposes of the present Deliverable. It should be noted that the parameters considered here (material properties, properties of the connection between the infill and the frame, geometry of the infill, previous loading of the infill etc.) cover a wide spectrum of possible structural applications for the two infill systems in particular and the overall behaviour of the infill in general. In the following sections, the results of the parametric study are presented and commented upon.
• For the out-of-plane, the influence of the compressive and the tensile strength on the response of the INSYSTEM 1 and INSYSTEM 2 solutions was investigated. The material parameters are altered similarly to the study of the in-plane behaviour. Three dimensional models were used for these set of analyses. As regards the macro modelling only the in-plane response of the infilled frames was modelled using non-linear finite element analysis. The analyses were carried out using the DIANA finite element analysis package. The masonry infill has been simulated using the method of diagonal struts and ties. The struts and ties have been included in the model as additional truss elements. The analyses were carried out by applying horizontal displacements at the top beam of the full scale frames under in-plane loading tests. The parametric investigation for the macro-model was focused on the same parameters as in the case of the micro-models.
UNIPV has been focused on a non-linear macro-model implemented in the structural code Ruaumoko.
• A macro-model has been calibrated according to experimental responses of the sub-structures in order to replicate the innovative proposed solution (D4.2). The bare frame of model building has also been modelled (D4.3) the in-plane resistance and stiffness of the innovative solution with opening have been evaluated and they will be calibrated after the in-plane test on the specimen. In the implemented macro-model, the infill has been modelled as a single strut with experimentally calibrated plastic hinge. In order to compare the performance of the system developed by UNIPV, parametric non-linear analyses on bare and partially infilled buildings have been performed. The main objective of this part of the study, where macro-modelling of the infilled buildings has been performed, is the evaluation of the influence of the innovative infills in the global seismic response of the RC structures.
• For the out-of-plane behaviour, a linear elastic FEM model of the specimen without opening (TSJ1), subjected to out-of-plane action though dynamic input on the shaking table, has been developed. A simplified parametric analysis, with models of different length (Lw), has been carried out in order to validate the theoretical expressions provided in Deliverable 7.2 for the out-of-plane infill verification; the height (hw) and the thickness (tw) of the panels have been kept constant.
SDA developed a model based on the macro-element approach proposed by Crisafulli (1997), which was implemented in the software package SeismoStruct (2016). The macro- element represents each infill panel by four axial struts and two shear springs. In both diagonal directions two parallel struts simulate the compression/tension forces and a shear spring represents the bed-joint resistance and sliding. The infill is idealized by a compression strut which is geometrically equivalent to the compression arch, with a cross-section made up of the infill wall thickness and the equivalent strut width. The calibration of the macro-model is based on experimental tests carried out by the project partners UNIPD and UNI KASSEL. The parametrical study comprises a single span infill frame with six stories. Two arrangements of infills and a bare frame are investigated to analyse the influence of the infill percentage on the inter-storey drift and maximum displacement at the top of the frame. Nonlinear pushover analyses are carried out under increasing horizontal forces in combination with constant vertical loads due to self-weight and variable loads.
UNI KASSEL developed a micro-model in Abaqus, consisting of solid elements representing the reinforced concrete frame. The reinforcement is explicitly modelled by beam elements, which are constrained by an appropriate contact formulation to the degrees of freedom of the solid elements of the concrete. The masonry bricks are modelled as three-dimensional solid elements as well, while the mortar isn’t modelled explicitly but instead is idealized by introducing contact interfaces representing the interaction between the bricks. Between the frame and the infill, another contact is introduced which allows the transfer of compressive and frictional forces. However, the described model is just suitable for the simulation of traditional infill masonry with rigid connection of infill masonry and RC frame. This model has been calibrated on the experimental tests. With SDA, considering the behaviour of the decoupled solution, it was decided to execute in-plane parametric studies on wall level and building level using the macro element approach introduced in D4.2. On wall level varying elastomeric stiffness, frame stiffness and frame geometry will be studied. On building level the influence of the infill percentage on the overall stiffness is investigated.
METU calibrated a numerical model for the analysis of infilled RC frames were according to laboratory testing of materials, infill prisms and single infilled RC frames. OpenSees (2015) software was used for the modelling of the frames. Force-based element type; nonlinear-beam-column element was used for the columns and beams with fiber section definitions.
HI STRUCT, although not fully involved in these tasks, developed a linear 3D analyses performed with ETABS software in order to study the influence of masonry infills in the seismic behaviour of RC frame structures. The analyses were meant to be a simple and fast one for the structural designers for which nonlinear analyses are difficult to be accomplished and takes a lot of time.
In order to make a consistent comparison on the in-plane performance of the different developed infill systems, non-linear pushover and time-history analyses have been carried out on a case study, represented by a six-storey RC plane frame designed according to Eurocodes. The non-linear analyses have been performed on the same RC building infilled with six different innovative infill systems and one traditional infill.

The objectives of WP5 can be summarised as follows:
• To carry out the experimental characterization of the properties of the new masonry components (bricks, blocks, mortars, fasteners and reinforcement) and walls;
• To carry out combined in-plane and out-of-plane tests for evaluating the system performance and the influence of the wall in-plane damage on the out-of-plane response;
• To carry out shaking table tests of model buildings to characterise the seismic behaviour of various type of non-structural elements in relation to the behaviour of the frame, and to obtain information on the systems performance;
• Definition of the main constitutive laws relevant for the numerical simulation of walls and to obtain experimental results under cyclic and dynamic loading on structural sub-assemblies and entire structures for model calibration;
• Assisting the drafting of practical guidelines.
WP5 started at month 3 and comprises experimental characterization of environmental and mechanical properties of basic materials (products and masonry delivered in WP3), derivation of constitutive laws used for modelling in WP4, development and execution of procedures for combined in-plane/out-of-plane testing of enclosure walls, tests on the solutions developed in WP3.
Another objective is to carry out a global assessment of performance of enclosure masonry walls under real seismic loading by shaking table tests (input for WP4). This will be verified, together with the corresponding numerical objective in WP4, at the end of the work of WP5 (month 24), by milestone MS4. Results of WP5 will serve as input for the assessment in WP6 and the guidelines in WP7.
During the last reporting period, all the activities have been concluded. These include the characterisation of basic materials (e.g. bricks, mortar used for the construction of the small walls, and the infill walls), the testing of simple masonry specimens, the execution of in-plane/out-of-plane tests on real scale specimens and the shaking table tests on model buildings.
The Technical report with the experimental results of materials and small masonry specimens, constituting deliverable D5.1 is completed. All partners have completed their experimental campaign and have finalized their reports.
Concerning D5.2 (Demonstration of testing of masonry enclosures), all partners have submitted to the WP leader the material needed for the preparation of the video. Although there was a delay on delivering the relevant material to the WP leader, the delay was absorbed and did not affect the progress of WP5.
With regard to D5.3 by PM24 most partners have completed their testing program and have been working on their results. The experimental campaign of some partners was delayed. The completion of testing the totality of specimens was due by the end of October 2016. Again, the delay was absorbed and did not affect the progress of WP5 or other WPs connected to WP5. By PM39, all partners have finalized their reports regarding testing masonry enclosures.
Deliverable D5.4 consists of a video with Laboratory demonstration of shaking table tests. All partners involved have constructed their specimens by PM 24. One shaking table test was completed in PM24, the remaining two specimens were tested by PM26. The delay has been absorbed and did not affect the progress of other WPs connected with the results of WP5. By PM 37, the video was prepared and the deliverable was finalised.
Deliverable D5.5 consists of a technical report on the shacking table test results. All the involved partners performed the shacking table tests and analysed the acquired data during the last reporting period. The small delay in D5.4 resulted in a delay for D5.5 as well. As for the D5.4 the delay has been absorbed and did not affect the progress of other WPs connected with the results of WP5. By PM39, the report concerning the shaking table test results has been finalized.
Each partner has described its activity within the WP5 in the current reporting period.
UNIPD: During PM16-39, UNIPD concluded the experimental campaign that started during the first reporting period. According to tasks 5.1 5.2 and 5.3 in which UNIPD was involved, the following activities have been performed:
• Mechanical characterization of construction elements, materials and interaction phenomena. This phase was entirely performed on two types of masonry units. Characterization on masonry units was already completed in the previous activity period, while characterisation of the mortar used for the construction of small and large specimens was completed by PM 24. Flexural and initial shear strength of brick to mortar interfaces was measured through testing of triplets (130 total specimens). Those tests, together with compression tests on small pillars (24 total specimens) were performed during PM16-24. The masonry unit to be used in the construction of masonry specimens and infills was chosen on the basis of the results of this experimental phase.
• Mechanical characterization of masonry specimens. Tests in compression on masonry specimens, along both vertical (with and without rubber joints) and horizontal directions were performed (18 total specimens).
• Combined in-plane and out-of-plane tests on real scale specimens. Those tests were concluded by PM36. The photographic and video material collected during the execution of tests has been organised to contribute to the development of D5.2 (demonstration of testing of masonry enclosures).
During PM25-39, UNIPD investigated more in depth and improved the properties of the horizontal deformable joints. Since this is a key parameter for the performance assessment of the innovative enclosure system, more test series regarding the material characterization (shear tests) have been performed. During this period, UNIPD finalised its report on the new results.
UMINHO: During PM16-24, the specimens for materials characterization for the developed solution 1 were built and tested (completed). The specimens for materials characterization for the developed solution 2 have been built and the experimental campaign was started in November 2015.
• Compression tests on masonry units, along the three directions have been performed (6 specimens along 2 directions for Uniko system and 6 specimens along 3 directions for Termico system). UMINHO has also performed tests on mortar specimens, used for the construction of the masonry walls. Initial shear tests on triplets (18 total specimens) were performed. Moreover, nine wallettes of Uniko system and 6 of Termico system were constructed and tested. 6 wallettes of each system were constructed and tested against diagonal compression and 12 wallettes of Uniko system and 9 wallettes of Termico system were tested against flexural loads. During PM 25-39, UMINHO has completed its testing campaign and finalized its report.
• To evaluate the performance of each developed system, quasi-static cyclic tests have been performed, both for in-plane and out-of-plane directions. A total of twelve tests on infilled frames plus a test on a bare frame have been performed. The photographic and video material collected during the execution of tests has been organised to contribute to the development of D5.2 (demonstration of testing of masonry enclosures).
UNIPV: Although not directly involved in Tasks 5.1 and 5.2 UNIPV performed tests on materials and small masonry specimens to obtain basic information on the behaviour of the proposed innovative solution.
• At month 24, tests on masonry units, reinforced concrete, steel rebars and some tests on masonry wallettes (vertical compression, lateral compression, diagonal compression) have been conducted. Tests on mortar, interface mortar, fibre-reinforced plaster and initial shear resistance of the masonry were ongoing. During PM25-39, UNIPV has completed the testing campaign and has finalized the respective report.
• With regard to combined in-plane and out-of-plane tests on masonry enclosures, during the reporting period three experimental tests have been carried out on fully infilled RC frame specimens. One partially infilled RC frame specimen has been tested through, as first step, low velocity cyclically in-plane and, subsequently dynamically out-of-plane test. For all the experiments, pictures and videos were taken and later organised to contribute to the development of D5.2 (demonstration of testing of masonry enclosures). Experimental data were analysed and commented for the purposes of D5.3.
• A real scale two-storey RC frame structure infilled with the innovative solution has been constructed and tested against biaxial earthquakes. Videos and pictures of the tests were collected and the material was organized and commented for the purposes of D5.4.
NTUA: During the current reporting period, NTUA completed the experimental campaign on construction elements and materials, and on masonry enclosures.
• In detail, the compressive strength of the RC was measured according to relevant standards. Compression tests on masonry units, along three directions have been performed. NTUA tested also the compressive strength of the mortar used for the construction of the masonry walls (on standardized specimens).
• Three wallettes for each type of brick unit (6 specimens in total) were constructed and tested in compression. In order to assess the effect of reinforcement on the mechanical behaviour of walls made with the NEW UNIT, 2 more walls provided with horizontal reinforcement were constructed and tested in diagonal compression (9 specimens). In total, 15 wallettes were tested within D5.1. During PM25-39, NTUA has finalized the technical report for D5.1.
• NTUA has performed in-plane quasi-static tests. Initially, the behaviour of a reference wall, i.e. a solid infill was experimentally investigated. The two enclosure systems, developed in collaboration with XALKIS, were also tested. In the case of INSYSTEM1, an infill with opening was also examined. A bare RC frame was also tested until failure for comparison purposes. During the experimental phases, pictures and videos were taken and later organised to contribute to the development of D5.2 (demonstration of testing of masonry enclosures). During the current reporting period, NTUA collected all the final versions of the report from other partners and by PM39 the final version of the D5.3 has been developed.
• For the purposes of D5.2 NTUA collected and assembled the material from other partners producing the final video that has been made available in the INSYSME website.
• With concern to shacking table tests (task 5.4) NTUA based the design of the specimens to be tested on the results of quasi static cyclic tests of masonry enclosures. The specimens were constructed and tested successfully on shaking table. Videos and pictures of the tests were collected and the material was organized and commented for the purposes of D5.4. NTUA collected the technical reports on shacking table tests from other partners and by PM39 developed the final version of D5.5.
UNIKASSEL: as per tasks 5.1 5,2 and 5.3 in which UNIKASSEL is involved, characterisation tests on materials and small masonry specimens as well as tests on masonry enclosures have been performed.
• Tests on seven types of brick units and three types of mortars other small size specimens and masonry walls composed of mortar/brick combinations have been carried out. Tests on brick units to determine the physical and mechanical properties like: compressive strength (two directions), modulus of elasticity (two directions) and on mortar, like: slump test, air content, compressive and bending strength have been conducted. Tests on mortar/brick combinations like: bond strength by bond wrench method, compressive strength (three brick specimens), modulus of elasticity and flexural (four point bending) tests have been carried out as well. In addition to that, tests to characterise the behaviour of the edge brick units which are to be filled with elastomers and shear connectors was planned and carried out. During PM 16-39, UNIKASSEL has completed their testing campaign and finalized their reports.
• By PM 24, the programme and the testing details of the first series of infilled frame specimens which include one bare frame, two in-plane infilled frames and two out-of-plane infilled frames have been completed. The planning of the second test series which included two infilled frames to be loaded sequentially (in and out-of-plane) was on-going. The test setup for the in-plane tests has being prepared. During PM 25-39, UNIKASSEL completed their experimental campaign regarding masonry enclosures and sent the material for D5.2 and D5.3.
METU: During period PM16-24, METU completed the experimental campaign related to the mechanical characterization of masonry and RC frame component materials.
• The characterisation tests concerned a) the components of the RC frame (compressive strength of concrete and tensile strength of steel), b) the masonry units (compressive strength along the 3 axes of the unit), c) the mortar and d) the masonry walls (compressive and shear strength). During PM 25-39, METU has completed the testing campaign and finalized the respective reports.
• By PM 24 METU has performed 5 in-plane cyclic static tests. Two specimens remained to be in-plane tested and two other have been constructed to be out-of-plane tested. During PM 25-39, METU completed their experimental campaign regarding masonry enclosures and sent the material for D5.2 and D5.3 to the WP leader. The experimental campaign included a total of seven in-plane and five out-of-plane tests.
HI STRUCT: Although not directly involved in WP5, HI STRUCT performed three experimental tests on real-scale masonry enclosures.

The objectives of WP6 can be summarised as follows:
• Addressing the construction requirement and the real case application of the technology;
• Design and construction of prototype walls
• Assessment of the execution of prototype walls with on-site testing and develop procedures for quality control
• Assisting the drafting of practical guidelines.
The WP6 is fundamental since it allows to asses and demonstrate the developed technologies. It provides also the practical material to later produce design guidelines (WP7) and accurate information on the cost estimation of the solutions. According to the above-mentioned objectives, the Work Package is divided into three main tasks: the construction of prototypes (Task 6.1) the assessment of technical and economic feasibility (Task 6.2) and the in-situ testing of prototypes (Task 6.3).
For the D6.1 a video containing an overview of the developed construction systems (type of developed technological system, rationales/process of designing the new system, etc.) has been edited. Each partner contributed by sending multimedia material, acquired during the construction phases of the masonry enclosure specimens (WP5), along with a compiled form with the description of used materials (quantity and costs), construction phases (how to, phases, construction times, costs) and manpower (required skills, how many workers, costs/hour).
For D6.2 and D6.3 the main activities performed were conducted in Italy (by ANDIL and UNIPD) and in Portugal (UMINHO, CTCV and APICER).
• In ITALY: The activities regarded the organisation of the “Ediltrophy competition”, during which mock-up and specimens of UNIPD’s system were built during the contest.
• In PORTUGAL: The activities regarded the participation at Tektónica 2016, Internacional building and construction fair, and the application of innovative masonry enclosures to the construction of the António Lopes Hospital in Póvoa de Lanhoso (PT)
In particular, D6.2 was intended to show the motivation that led to the organisation of the event, whereas D6.3 is aimed at showing the activity performed and the results in terms of demonstration of constructability.
With regard to D6.4 the contribution from all the involved partners have been collected and organised in a technical report. By PM 39 the deliverable has been finalized and submitted.
For D6.5 NDT for in situ testing have been carried out (but not fully analysed yet). NDT were performed on the experimental specimens for in-plane and/or out-of-plane real scale tests. By PM 36 the deliverable has been finalized and submitted.

The objectives of WP7 can be summarised as follows:
• Writing software code for the design of masonry walls made with the envisaged technology – reached;
• Writing guidelines for end-users and SMEs regarding the design of masonry enclosure/veneer walls, and for current code updating – reached;
• Writing guidelines for SMEs and constructors regarding the construction of masonry enclosure/veneer walls – reached.
Since WP7 started at PM 21, almost the whole work has been performed within the current reporting period. The main objectives of the Work Package were to develop software code for the design of masonry walls made with the envisaged technology (D7.1) to produce guidelines for end users and SMEs regarding the design of masonry enclosure, and for current code updating (D7.2) and to produce guidelines for SMEs and constructors regarding the construction of masonry enclosure (D7.3).
• With regard to deliverable D7.1 an Excel file with calculation procedures have been prepared by SDA. To provide a calculation example, each partner filled and customized the spreadsheet as per the characteristics of its own developed system.
• With regard to deliverable D7.2 design guidelines for end-users have been defined by taking into account for each developed system the field of validity, the in-plane and out-of-plane seismic responses, and the global and local interactions with the RC frame.
• With regard to deliverable D7.3 guidelines for site organization, execution and quality assurance have been defined for each developed system.
By PM39 all the objectives have been achieved, and the relative deliverables have been submitted.
Potential Impact:
Impact for the participating SMEs / SME Associations and their members
Clear benefits emerge from the successful project implementation for SMEs and SME members of SME-AGs involved in the consortium, as well as for other enterprises of the construction sector. As a matter of fact, being INSYSME aimed at developing innovative construction systems, defining design procedures and updating codes, a complete solution to technological and scientific problems with a broad-spectrum impact was offered.
As already mentioned, the main project output consists of twelve innovative solutions for enclosure masonry walls, almost ready for application in real buildings at industrial scale. The developed solutions, not only provide higher safety in case of seismic events, but also match most of the main priorities of the strategic research agenda of the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP), in terms of durability, energy savings, increased indoor comfort, environmental and economic sustainability.
The development of complete solutions for enclosure masonry walls enables clay unit producers to commercialize the whole masonry wall systems, instead of the sole unit. This is deemed to result in increased competitiveness for the involved SMEs through the enrichment of their product portfolio with a unique and innovative product offered on the National market. In a period of persisting economic crisis affecting also the construction market, the possibility of patenting, selling or licensing new construction solutions for infill walls (jointly to sound design rules and easy-to-use software) represents a clear advantage for the SME-AG members and constitutes a great added value, in terms of competitiveness increase and market share growth through innovation.
Finally, some project outcomes represent an important database of results and guidelines that are deemed to significantly contribute to update and improve either Eurocodes and National codes.
As general consideration, one should keep in mind that the construction sector is rather conservative, therefore the uptake of any new product is delayed in time and its impact is supposed to increase after initial use. For this reason, one of the key project roles of the participating SME-AGs is to inform and educate not only their members, but also designers, end-users and consumers, in order facilitate market penetration of the innovative solutions.
As presented in few WP2 deliverables, statistics for different European Countries indicate the global relevance of masonry unit production, but also point out how innovation in this sector is advisable in order to recover lost market share for both enclosure and partition walls.
The direct economic impact of project result exploitation can be roughly estimated on the basis of the potential direct economic benefits to the annual market share of the involved SMEs, SME-AGs and their over 300 members. Benefits have been quantified as follows:
• for clay unit producers, an increase of 0,3% in their respective national market sales is expected during the first year of introduction of the new solution in the market. Further increase of 0,3% is then estimated on an annual base;
• for SME-AGs, the main benefit relies in the earnings from licensing the use of the innovative solutions to non-member SMEs at national and international level. This can be particularly true in some Eastern EU and non-EU Countries (e.g. Slovenia, Poland, Balkan Countries where new constructions are growing), where the Turkish association operates and where especially Italian and German associations and companies have strong commercial relationships.
The uptake of the developed masonry enclosure technologies will be also influenced by the cost of the innovative solutions which, despite higher than the one for traditional solutions, is deemed to decrease along with the implementation of scale economies. Furthermore, savings that will accrue throughout the supply chain are also believed to offset the additional cost:
• lower use of insulation materials should lead to: reduction of CO2 emissions during production; economy in construction site organization; reduction of material disposal and substitution (insulating coating is less durable than masonry);
• energy savings in the costs for heating/conditioning thanks to masonry thermal transmittance of masonry has reduced;
• lower cost for repair in serviceability states (today, 25% of the damage reported in civil suits and claimed to insurance companies is related to damage in non-load bearing walls);
• lower or null cost for repair in case of frequent, low intensity earthquakes (today, 60-80% of the costs of post-earthquake repair is related to enclosures, partition walls and related finishing).
It is evident that the higher cost of the innovative solution is believed to be fully acceptable and affordable, not only because it a negligible increase in terms of total building cost, but also because it should be completed covered by savings in maintenance phase and by a general economy for the building owner.

Impact on competitiveness of SMEs and industry
The construction sector represents one of the largest shares of wealth in Europe, as it accounts for around 10% of gross domestic product (GDP). Construction is strategically important, providing buildings and infrastructures on which many societal sectors depend. In this framework, new constructions represent 57% of the total production. Residential and non-residential buildings account for 43%, whereas 14% is related to new infrastructures. These percentages refer to a market that, before the crisis, accounted for more than 1.500 billion euros.
In view of this preamble, one can state that the “natural market” of main project results is the full building industry, accounting for any type of new construction: housing, schools, industrial, service and commercial buildings, public buildings, warehouses, horizontal silos, etc. This market is dominated by framed structure. Considering the described market size, the impact of project results on the competitiveness of SMEs and industry is evident. It is also noticeable that clay unit industry, with its 10,6-billion-euro overall turnover, represents almost 1% of the entire construction sector and, in particular, it is a pillar for economies of Mediterranean Countries.
However, several shortcomes limit the further development of the sector and endanger its role for the future. This is particularly true in this period where the economy in general, and the construction sector in particular, is struggling to overcome serious crisis. Public austerity plans and difficulty to private credit line access in most weak Countries is not helping the recovery of the construction industry, which is deemed not to return to the level of early 2000s in the near future in Europe.
Considering the described scenario, it is clear that boosting the sector competitiveness is a crucial task. In the case of new constructions, to which project results are more directly applicable, this is even truer, as new constructions are more sensitive to the crisis of the sector. As long as public awareness rises, the new measure of success in new constructions is the ability to satisfy all needs. This means that ways must be developed to make buildings safer, easier to design, still visually attractive, less energy consuming, more sustainable, and capable of increasing the indoor comfort. Innovative solutions developed in the project go just towards this direction and are believed to thus increase private and public demand for such construction technologies.
Last, it has to be recalled that the overall importance of the construction sector to economic performance and growth is often not fully recognised, as many of the companies involved are small (sometimes micro) medium enterprises. This is the case not only of brick manufacturers, but also of components suppliers and service providers (e.g. consulting engineering firms). The project managed to provide them with sound design guidelines, easy-to-use design software and diagnostic tools for quality assessment. These results also have an impact in giving a unique competitive advantage to project partners who can offer a complete and integrated solution on the market for all the actors involved in the construction chain.

Impact on employment and the use/development of skills
The number of people employed in the clay brick sector has gradually decreased from the 60s due to reduction of factories and increased productivity in the existing ones. However, a considerable employment loss followed the already mentioned economic crisis. The overall sector employed 13.5 million workers in 2007 (7% of the European total workforce and more than any other industrial sector in Europe), but more than 1 million jobs have been lost since 2007, especially in Countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. INSYSME innovative solutions are deemed to support employment in the construction sector, even though a more precise estimation is not possible at this stage, as employment also depends on the actual production growth. In any case, we can take into account a small annual hypothetical increase of 0,5%, i.e. 1% in two years, and consider a linear approach: the two-year increase of production would lead to an increase of 100 employees on 10.000 units. Considering that Italy and Portugal alone have currently about 15.000 workers in the sector, and Europe overall 83.000 the impact on employment, although very roughly and approximately calculated, is clear. On top of impact on workers strictly connected to the clay production industry, project results as guidelines and recommendations for code and standard updating should create a new demand for more qualified structural engineers and service providers. This can result either in the need to hire additional more skilled staff or in the need to train existing personnel for higher level professional activities.

Impact on safety and quality of life
Earthquakes represent that natural hazard that yearly causes the highest number of casualties in the world, as well as important economic loss. As already mentioned in several project deliverables, in European Countries, death, injuries and economic loss related to modern RC building stocks are often and mostly due to enclosure walls out-of-plane collapse. The INSYSME project, developing effective technologies for mitigation of earthquake effects on enclosure walls together with reliable design rules, is trusted to give a very significant contribution to Europe’s aim of achieving higher quality of life (increased safety). The creation of a standard level of protection of the citizen from injury or life loss due to natural disasters is clearly consistent with EU policy objectives and the impact of the project in this field matches the objectives not only of the ECTP Strategic Research Agenda, but also of the European Earthquake Agenda.
The new construction details and the improved mechanical performance of the developed enclosure walls can also significantly improve building behaviour under serviceability limit states. This in turn entails an improvement of the indoor comfort, quality of life and health of the occupants. Developing crack-free walls, indeed, means less psychological impact and, mostly, less humidity related problems. In fact, excessive moisture penetrating in enclosure walls due to cracks is the main agent for the creation of mould, which is not only unacceptable for health living, but can also be very harmful to occupants. In addition, the newly produced masonry units take into account new EN regulations (EnEV2001) for adequate hydrothermal regulation capacity, energy efficiency regulations and acoustic regulations (EN ISO 717 series). It is worth noting that the energy required to produce ceramic bricks is 2.8 GJ/t, whereas mortar/concrete requires 8.5 GJ/t and glass wool or foam glass for insulation may raise up to 60 GJ/t. Avoiding using energy consuming, less durable insulating materials, contribute to energy saving and CO2 emission is also reduced. Hence, the successful conclusion of the INSYSME project is trust to have positive effects on a wide range of Community societal objectives.

Impact on European norms and standards
Project results are also meant to contribute to European standardisation and regulation, providing “standardised best practices”. Results and guidelines are publicly available for the use of any stakeholder involved in the process of standard review and contacts between the project Consortium and CEN are established. The main impact should be on Eurocode 8 (EN1998 for aseismic design of structures,) but the information on masonry infills and veneer walls can also be useful for Eurocode 6 (EN1996 on masonry structures) and Eurocode 2 on concrete structures (EN1992). The developed materials give information to be implemented into the corresponding EN series (e.g. EN771 on masonry units, EN845 on fastenings and reinforcement, EN998 on mortars, etc.). The development of design procedures for infill and veneer is also deemed to have direct implementation into the various national technical codes, in the case they are either under development or under revision. The innovative testing procedures adopted, both at sub-assembly level in laboratory and with non-destructive techniques on-site, can feed pre-normative documents prepared by RILEM and, eventually, can constitute a new EN series. The active participation of INSYSME industrial associations and RTD performers into the above mentioned pre-regulatory technical committees (RILEM) and European standardisation committees (CEN), plus their involvement in drafting the National Annexes to the Eurocodes ensures the actual and effective implementation of project results and contribution to either National and European standards.

Contribution to increase transnational technological cooperation
The project aimed at solving problems shared by most of European Countries and thus required a transnational common approach in order to create new concepts of general use, but also a range of individual solutions that can address different needs and be valid in most European Countries under different conditions, extending therefore the impact of the project well beyond the consortium.
As primary general consideration, RC frame construction is the most commonly used structural system for new buildings. The participation of seven Countries allowed inclusion of areas where seismic risk level is quite different (very high in Greece and Turkey, moderate-to-high in Italy and Romania, moderate in Portugal, low-to-moderate in Germany) and where environmental conditions, local building construction traditions and material types are also dissimilar. In this way, it was able to consider several conditions and give a broader scope of solutions.
A common European (and worldwide) issue regards the significant inhomogeneity of complete lack of design rules and approaches for enclosure walls in design code. The International dimension of the project is believed to help filling this gap.
The concluded research succeeded to increase transnational technological cooperation and interchange of know-how amongst SME-AGs of the same sector (clay unit producers), among SME-AGs and SMEs from different industrial sectors also beyond the consortium, and amongst industrial and research partners especially at National scope. This success is also an important milestone for the promotion of long-term research and industrial cooperation at all levels, strengthening the European Research Potential and improving its competitiveness.
In addition, the project should contribute to improvement of European social and economic cohesion, in agreement with the ‘Region and local development’ policy, involving disadvantaged areas. Indeed, the project is also already fostering cooperation with neighbouring Countries, following the European Neighbourhood Regional Policy.

Innovation Impact
The innovative character of the proposed systems cannot be sought exclusively in the development of thoroughly new materials and construction techniques, but in the smart combination of (i) conventional materials (i.e. clay brick or block masonry units, mortar) and/or innovative materials (e.g. clay masonry units of particular shape, sliding mortar, various steel components), (ii) sophisticated enhancement techniques (e.g. through application of reinforcement, connectors/fasteners, joints, angles, shelves) and (iii) original design methods.
One of the main output of this project therefore consists of different industrialized solutions for enclosure masonry walls, to be used (mainly) in RC framed structures. This constitutes a significant step forward with respect to systems currently available on the market, as it provides sound solutions for improved seismic (and in general, mechanical) resistance, taking concurrently into account in-plane and out-of-plane behaviour, and being, at the same time:
• sustainable from the environmental, economic and social point of views;
• respectful of traditional building techniques;
• able to preserve/enhance the best habitability/environmental properties that are already typical of masonry solutions;
• innovative in combining traditional and advanced materials and construction techniques;
• widely applicable in European building practise ensuring simple and effective methods for design, detailing and execution, thanks to the companion design guidelines and software;
• competitive with respect to existing of light solutions for partition walls.
Moreover, during the project, synergic numerical and experimental research studies were carried out to derive an adequate (and previously not existing) testing methodology for reference RC frame, in-plane displacement history, out-of-plane loads application method, quasi-static or dynamic loading procedure.
Considering also the already mentioned lack of design rules for enclosure systems in either National and European codes, a fundamental step towards innovation is the provision of those clear rules to contractors and designers in form of guidelines (first step, during the project) and in form of best practice to be introduced in international standards (second step, after the project’s end).

Dissemination and exploitation of project results
The project management structure is designed to guarantee, besides an efficient administrative, scientific and technical management, an effective dissemination and exploitation of project results. With respect to this aim, in addition to the activities concluded during the project, SME-AGs will continue to drive exploitation of project results well after the end of the project. This will be pursued continuing both the program of demonstration to their SME members and the dissemination activity through promotion of benefits to general public, decision makers and any other stakeholder. It is worthwhile recalling that the SME-AGs involved in the project represent more than 300 SMEs active in the sector and can therefore guarantee a successful, long-time promotion of the project outcome. Trans-sectorial industrial cooperation is also expected to be successfully implemented.
RTD partners will also continue to contribute to training and educational activities. Education is of paramount importance to have a return on investment also on the long term, as a new generation of designers familiar with the innovative construction systems and their main technological and design aspects is formed.
European and worldwide construction markets are foreseen to be reached by SME-AGs and SMEs through direct sales and/or licensing of innovative products/systems developed, also thanks to the aforesaid trans-sectorial envisaged cooperation.
As far as time to market is concerned, a detailed analysis has been carried out from which a realistic plan has been deducted (see D2.9). Overall, it can be stated the industrialized versions of developed products/systems will be ready for the market in approximately one year after the project completion.
A complete list of dissemination activities and exploitation of results I presented in WP2 deliverables and in the following sections of this report.
List of Websites:

Project Coordinator: Prof. Francesca da Porto -