Substandard structures account for a large proportion of the building stock in many large urban areas of developing countries. Such highly vulnerable structures have experienced catastrophic damage during major earthquakes in the past, leading to extensive human, economic and societal losses. For instance, the 1999 Kocaeli earthquake that hit Marmara (Turkey) caused around 20,000 fatalities and economic losses of US$20b (approximately 10% of Turkey’s GDP). Therefore, a better understanding of earthquake risks on substandard buildings is necessary to reduce losses in future earthquakes in Turkey.
To tackle this issue, the Concrete & Earthquake Engineering (CEE) group has secured a 30-month RCUK-TUBITAK Research grant to lead a project on ‘Rapid Earthquake Risk Assessment and Post-Earthquake Disaster Management Framework for Substandard Buildings in Turkey’. In this project, a new methodology for rapid assessment of structures will be developed following a multi-hazard approach. A comprehensive rapid risk assessment framework for substandard buildings will provide a benchmark for calibration and optimisation of the new developed framework. Pre/post-earthquake inventory data collected from substandard buildings in Marmara and high-quality seismological information from in-field measurements will be used in the calibration/optimisation process. The calibrated rapid earthquake risk assessment framework will be then combined with real-time data from smart devices to use for direct emergency/crisis response actions to reduce seismic losses in future earthquakes. Other partners in this project include the Istanbul Technical University and Gebze Technical University (both in Turkey), as well as Sheffield Hallam’s C3RI centre (UK).
This project is part of the CEE group’s strategy to foster national and international collaboration through further understanding and managing natural and humanitarian disasters/emergencies. The outcomes of this project are expected to complement those from a previous project on industrial facilities in Marmara (https://goo.gl/d2XSJD)