Several buildings located in earthquake-prone areas were conceived according to past design guidelines and do not comply with current seismic regulations. This requires effective seismic retrofitting interventions. After the collapse of the university hall of residence of L’Aquila, Italy, in 2009, several regional authorities in other Italian cities planned surveys for seismic assessments of similar student accommodation buildings, disclosing dramatic structural deficiencies in many cases. One of these buildings concerns the student hall of residence of Messina, Italy, a confined masonry-RC building analysed in this paper. This work summarizes the theoretical conception and underlying design philosophy of the seismic retrofitting of this building (through buckling restrained braces and pre-tensioned steel ribbons), describes the pushover analysis on the original and retrofitted structure, illustrates the acceptance tests on the hysteretic dampers performed at laboratory CERISI of Messina and discusses some construction issues that have arisen up to date during the installation phases.
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