Seismic conservation strategies for cultural heritage buildings in Switzerland
Cultural heritage buildings were typically built without considering seismic action and are therefore potentially susceptible to earthquake damage. The performance states and protection objectives developed for ordinary buildings are not directly applicable since they do not address the cultural importance of the heritage buildings. This paper proposes a seismic conservation strategy for cultural heritage buildings in Switzerland, which is a country of low to moderate seismicity. Based on the performance states for cultural heritage buildings that were developed within the Pereptuate project, a matrix of performance states has been developed in function of the importance category of the cultural property, the conservation strategy chosen and the return periods for seismic events to be considered. It is proposed that the performance states and return periods for ordinary buildings should define the lowest performance that is acceptable for cultural heritage buildings since these performance states were derived considering minimum protection requirements for people. For cultural heritage buildings such low performance states are acceptable if the importance of the heritage is minor and/or if a conservation strategy is chosen, which is based on the documentation of the status quo with the objective of reconstruction after a seismic event rather than retrofit and improvement of the seismic performance.