Short course on Post-Earthquake Building Safety and Damage Assessment

Pavia, 13-17 February 2006

Immediately after an earthquake occurs, thousands of buildings may result damaged, while new shocks can still occur. Of main interest is thus the assessment of the safety of the buildings against subsequent aftershocks. Commonly, National or Local Technical and/or Civil Protection Offices deploy and manage intense building inspection missions in order to estimate the level of damage and to assess residual building capacity. On the one hand, there is always a pressing need to mitigate the distress caused to the local inhabitants, to promote a return to the pre-event status and also to limit the number of temporary shelters.

On the other hand, however, the safety of the citizen is also of primary concern, noting that once a given structure is deemed safe, its occupants will re-enter the building. The whole process is rendered even more complex by the fact that a very large number of buildings need to be inspected within a limited timeframe. Finally, it is noted that, within this post-earthquake context, safety assessment involves damage assessment and evaluation of short term countermeasures (e.g. propping, supports, barriers, protected crossings) that will ensure the private and public safety.

This short course will start by providing the basic notions of observed damage, vulnerability and use classification for the cases of residential, strategic and historical buildings. This will form the basis for an overview of current methodologies for post-earthquake damage and safety assessment in seismic prone countries all over the world (USA, Japan, Turkey, Italy, Greece) with special emphasis on both technical and procedural aspects. It is believed that the course will offer the participants a comprehensive framework for post-earthquake damage and safety assessment, as well as training in a subject that experience repeatedly demonstrates to be essential after the occurrence of an event of seismic nature. The course is organised and delivered by Dr A. Goretti, from the National Seismic Survey (Department of Civil Protection, Italy), featuring also invited lectures from Dr G. Di Pasquale, Dr S. Podestà , Prof. S. Anagnostopoulos and Dr M. Inukai.

Further details can be obtained by following the links below: