The role of Geotechnical Engineers in saving monuments and historic sites.

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The role of Geotechnical Engineers in saving monuments and historic sites.
  1. THE TECHNOLOGICAL PROGRESS OF GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING
    1. The possibilities offered in this field by technological progress in Geotechnical Engineering in recent years have stimulated these activities all over the world, as is shown by the reports published in journals and in conference proceedings.
      1. The new technologies opens up fascinating prospects in this sector; suffice it to think of the possibilities of introducing structural elements of any size into the soil or of mixing the soil with cement to turn it into a new coherent material that is very similar to concrete, or of injecting hardening materials that replace pore pressure fluids in predetermined points of the subsoil, using probes of all lengths that can travel in any direction, even along predetermined and controlled, curved lines.
        1. New intervention arose also from the progress achieved in the last decades in the knowledge of the behaviour of unsaturated soils and in the measurement of soil suction.
        2. A MORE RESPECTFUL APPROACH: PRESERVING THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST
          1. The role of Geotechnical Engineers in the conservation of historic towns and monuments could be much broader and multifaceted and even more attractive in cultural terms than what is generally believed.
            1. Until the early 1990s, the concept that the conservation of a monument involves also saving its construction components, even those that are not visible had not yet gained ground; the idea that the Tower of Pisa, once it were to be transferred onto a new foundation built using the technologies of the 20th century, would become a fake, only a pure icon of the monument, was not understood
              1. The new way of thinking made its way gradually and radically changed the cultural approach to the consolidation of ancient buildings, and in the case of the Tower of Pisa, it led to the solution that was finally and happily adopted for its stabilization
              2. THE NEED OF MULTIDISCIPLINARY STUDIES
                1. Theprotectionofahistoricandmonumentalbuildinghasthe aim of maintaining and spreading the knowledge of past eras and civilizations, then the study of the interaction between buildings and the environment, and in particular their foundation soils, brings a substantial contribution to it
                  1. ll this helps deepen our knowledge of remote times. In this setting the contribution offered by Geotechnics, alongside that offered by structural engineers, geologists, seismologists, architects, art historians and construction historians may play an extremely important role. The examples of activities carried out with this spirit are now a great many and have been quite successful with at times unexpected and surprising results.
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