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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A methodology for assessing the seismic risk of buildings Thibert, Katherine Marie


Many infrastructure networks rely on each other to deliver utilities and services to the community. In the event of a disaster, these networks can sustain significant damage. It is therefore important to identify interdependencies among networks to mitigate the disaster consequences. In 2003, Public Safety Canada (PSC) and NSERC initiated the Joint Infrastructure Interdependencies Research Program (JIIRP) for this purpose. The research was carried out at six Universities across Canada including the University of British Columbia (UBC). The aim of JIIRP at UBC was to study infrastructure interdependencies during disasters in order to aid in decision making. This involved the development disaster simulation methodology and tool, and the implementation of a case study. UBC's Point Grey campus was used as case study. The campus is located in southwestern British Columbia, a known seismic zone, therefore earthquake disaster scenario was chosen. Reasonable estimations of the expected seismic damage and losses are required in order to simulate a realistic disaster scenario. For this reason, in this thesis, seismic risk assessment was carried out for the buildings at UBC. This involved the development of a building database, the assessment of the expected level of damage to the structural and nonstructural building components, and the estimation of monetary, human and functionality losses. Buildings in the database were classified into prototypes and the damage was estimated for several levels ofintensity using damage probability matrices. As expected, the most vulnerable buildings on campus were those containing unreinforced masonry. These buildings make up 7% of the buildings on campus. The least vulnerable buildings were multi-family residential woodbuildings which account for 27% of the buildings on campus. Losses were estimated following the damage assessments. Casualties were estimated for three times of day. 2PM was determined to be the critical time of day as the campus population is the greatest at this time. Monetary loss and functionality trends were examined with respect to earthquake intensity and it was shown that for moderate intensity earthquakes, the losses depend primarily on nonstructural damage, while structural damage plays the most important role for higher intensities.

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