Predicting earthquake-induced downtime in buildings: An overview of the state of the art


Over the past decade, the earthquake engineering profession has made significant progress in developing models and tools for predicting loss of functionality and downtime in buildings, most notably the seismic performance assessment methodology for buildings (i.e., FEMA P-58) developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. While FEMA P-58 represents an important step-changes in practice, its methodology for predicting downtime contains significant simplifications and assumptions that impact the accuracy of its results. Downtime is arguably the most difficult performance metric to estimate, but it is also one of the most important, providing insights into how long critical buildings might be rendered unusable, which in turn can be used to predict restoration times for business operations or important community services. This paper provides an overview of the state of the art in predicting earthquake-induced downtime in buildings. It describes the REDi downtime assessment methodology, a sophisticated process for predicting downtime in individual buildings that builds on FEMA P-58, and summarizes several improvements that have been made to the methodology since its initial publication in 2013. It also discusses important remaining challenges in predicting downtime in buildings.

In 11th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering
Nicole Paul
Nicole Paul
PhD Student

Researching population displacement in disasters