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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An analytical framework to estimate downtime and model the recovery of buildings after an earthquake Vahanvaty, Taikhum Hussein


While modern seismic design codes intend to ensure life-safety in extreme earthquakes, policy-makers are moving towards performance objectives stated in terms of acceptable recovery times. This thesis describes a framework to estimate downtime and model the post-earthquake recovery of buildings. Downtime estimates include the time for mobilizing resources after an earthquake and conduct necessary repairs. The proposed framework advances the well-established FEMA P-58 and REDi methodologies by modeling temporal building recovery trajectories to target recovery states such as stability, shelter-in-place, reoccupancy, and functional recovery, as well as by providing probabilistic seismic performance measures that are useful for decision-making. The proposed framework is implemented to evaluate a range of modern 8- to 24-story residential reinforced concrete shear wall buildings located in Seattle, WA. The assessment results indicate that under a functional-level earthquake (roughly equivalent to ground shaking with a return period of 475-years), the average probability across all building heights of not achieving a target shelter-in-place recovery state immediately after the earthquake is 16%, and the probability of downtime to functional recovery exceeding four months is 91.5%. These probabilities exceed the 10% threshold suggested for similar performance measures in the 2015 NEHRP guidelines and FEMA P-2090, respectively. Furthermore, the framework is used to quantify the impact of design strategies on the building’s downtime performance. The results illustrate that certain structural design interventions are effective in ensuring a small probability (

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