Earthquake Loss Estimation for Europe's Historic Town Centres

Dina D'Ayala, R Spence, C Oliveira, A Pomonis

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84 Citations (SciVal)


To support decision-making on upgrading strategies of historic city centres, loss estimation techniques are needed, suitable for application to masonry buildings. This paper describes the development and application of such techniques to a case study in the Alfama District of Lisbon. The project involved a survey of 200 buildings to investigate structural features and condition, mapped using a GIS system, followed by analysis of key collapse mechanisms to define static collapse loads under horizontal forces for each building. The results, obtained in terms of earthquake ground motions likely to produce equivalent damage, led to the development of vulnerability functions for the case study, verified by comparison with functions derived from statistical analysis of world-wide damage reports and with damage reports of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The method is used to predict the reduction in losses achieved by the introduction of low-cost unobtrusive strengthening techniques, such as tie-rods connecting facade walls to floors and cross-walls. Cost benefit analysis, considering only structural costs, indicates that the return on the investment would be considerable
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-793
Number of pages21
JournalEarthquake Spectra
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997

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Special Issue on Earthquake Loss Estimation


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