A vulnerability assessment tool for residential structures and extreme wind events

Smith, Daniel J., Roueche, David B., Thompson, Austin P., and Prevatt, David O. (2015) A vulnerability assessment tool for residential structures and extreme wind events. In: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Performance-based and Life-cycle Structural Engineering. 175. pp. 1164-1171. From: PLSE 2015: Second International Conference on Performance-based and Lifecycle Structural Engineering, 9-11 December 2015, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Studies of hurricane damage to residential buildings confirm that the risk of wind and/or water damage related losses can be mitigated via retrofit solutions. However, adoption of appropriate retrofits by homeowners has been limited despite its obvious benefits. For several reasons, including high cost of retrofitting, the practical difficulty of implementing upgrades, and other homeowner priorities, the level of structural retrofits remain low. This paper proposes a performance-based design approach to retrofitting, targeted for residential homeowners (and their construction team) to advise on incremental retrofits that ultimately result in desired performance targets for wind-resistant houses. To specifically engage the homeowner, a user-friendly smartphone application is developed that evaluates the wind resistance and vulnerability of existing homes. The app provides each homeowner an individualized vulnerability assessment, while engaging and educating them on the effects of structural systems and building characteristics on damage and on the options for retrofits and costs associated with the work. The vulnerability assessment is determined using a database of fragility curves, developed originally for the FEMA's HAZUS-MH program, and adapted for this use. The analysis yields the top three recommended retrofits for each house as-is, and its expected hurricane-induced economic losses compared against the predicted loss if all the retrofits were conducted. Beta trials of the mobile app will be conducted in at-risk coastal communities in Florida, USA. The authors suggest that direct engagement of homeowners in identifying wind mitigation techniques and solutions may yield more positive outcomes than traditional communication approach and it may eventually increase the number of building retrofits.

Item ID: 42874
Item Type: Conference Item (Non-Refereed Research Paper)
ISBN: 978-1-74272-147-7
Keywords: vulnerability; performance-based design; smartphone; risk communication; resilientresidence
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Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 03:46
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1204 Engineering Design > 120404 Engineering Systems Design @ 25%
09 ENGINEERING > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090503 Construction Materials @ 25%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1005 Communications Technologies > 100504 Data Communications @ 50%
SEO Codes: 89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8998 Environmentally Sustainable Information and Communication Services > 899899 Environmentally Sustainable Information and Communication Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9610 Natural Hazards > 961010 Natural Hazards in Urban and Industrial Environments @ 50%
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