Engineering Risk Management for Structures

by Larry T. Lee, Member of Professional Staff; J.H. Wiggins Co., Redondo Beach, Calif.,
Jon D. Collins, (M.ASCE), Vice Pres.; J.H. Wiggins Co., Redondo Beach, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 9, Pg. 1739-1756

Document Type: Journal Paper


A systematic methodology has been developed to determine risk to structures from four hazards: fire, flood, earthquake, and wind. This methodology combines seven major elements: the hazard model to provide a probabilistic description of each hazard, the exposure model to describe the assets exposed, the vulnerability model to describe the condition and strength of each structure, the damage algorithm to provide a relationship between hazard intensity and degree of damage expected, a set of alternative mitigations, cost data for the mitigations, and a risk equation. The risk equation produces an estimate of the average annual loss or the risk of mission loss. A number of possible mitigations are considered for each structure and each hazard. The average annual loss (i.e., risk) is computed for each hazard for the structure as is, and with each mitigation applied separately. This information is used to select an optimum investment program that minimizes the risk from the hazards. The hazard models and damage algorithms are based on information available in technical literature. The exposure and vulnerability data are project dependent.

Subject Headings: Structural reliability | Risk management | Structural models | Structural engineering | Structural strength | Damage (structural) | Algorithms | Wind loads

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