In-situ investigations and laboratory tests
For the formation of the second set of knowledge, it is necessary to obtain in advance the first one. Particularly for historical buildings, which have survived for centuries, the information of its structural system is of major importance and not easily acquired, as it refers to the long history of the building, and therefore, it is based on in-situ investigation, historical documentation and laboratory tests. The structural engineer in charge studies all the material and tries to extract useful information for the structural system from a careful interpretation of the existing material. A good engineering knowledge, together with reports of gathered information about the behaviour of monument’s structural elements and structural systems prepared in the stage, might possibly be the best way to trace the points where damage is expected and to make a correct interpretation of this damage from the structural point of view.