Development and application of an empirical loss analysis for woodframe buildings subject to seismic events

Black, Gregory
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University of Delaware
This thesis introduces a new seismic loss model for woodframe buildings and examines how it can be used to provide input for the development of seismic performance objectives for woodframe buildings in terms of economic loss, a measure that is more directly useful to building owners than qualitative performance levels such as "Life Safety." The model employs a non-linear dynamic structural analysis program in order to determine the structural response of the woodframe buildings it analyzes. Next, it uses experimental and analytical fragility and repair cost data in order to translate the structural response into damage and damage into economic loss. The thesis demonstrates the use of the model using two-story, single-family homes as an example building category, although the model can actually be applied to any category of woodframe building. In this case, the model is applied to estimate losses as a function of ground motion intensity and building design. By incorporating actual ground motion recurrence data, the analysis is used to assess the interaction between hazard and loss for an example location. The results are discussed to illustrate how such an analysis can be used to help characterize estimated losses, define performance objectives, and guide design to meet those performance objectives. The results for the example case presented in this thesis reaffirm the importance of explicitly recognizing the large variability in losses and the contribution of non-structural and contents loss in performance-based design.