Preserving Egypt's Cultural Heritage from Earthquake Damage through Vibrating Barriers (ViBa)

Project Details


The historical sites and monuments in Egypt are among the most important in the world and conserving this heritage is crucial. The large damage observed in hundreds of monuments after the Cairo Earthquake in 1992 unveiled the fragility of the Egyptian heritage asset to seismic hazards.

More than 12 years and a huge investment were needed to reopen some of the damaged sites. Unfortunately, the current knowledge on the strengthening and mitigation of the seismic risk in heritage buildings is focused on invasive solutions that require the alteration of the historical structure and, with it, the modification of its essence. In addition, these precursor works are not focused on the specific case of the Egyptian monuments and the seismic activity in the region. As a result, the cultural asset of Egypt is threatened by the seismic hazard.

This research aims to apply an innovative concept in earthquake engineering to the control of whole heritage sites without the need for alteration in the ancient structures. The idea is to introduce a vibrating barrier (ViBa) in the ground (completely
external to the protected structures) that is able to interact with the soil and the earthquake in order to mitigate the seismic risk in the entire site. The project combines the expertise of academic teams in Egypt and UK towards the application of
this novel idea.

The successful development of this project will result in the generation of new and fundamental knowledge on the control of structures with protection barriers, ultimately preserving the Egyptian heritage and the lives of the persons in these sites.

It will also result in the development of design guidelines that will facilitate the application of the project outcomes by engineering practitioners and industry.
Effective start/end date1/07/1930/04/21


  • Arts and Humanities Research Council


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