Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards

by C. Scawthorn, EQE Inc, United States,
T. Anagnos, EQE Inc, United States,
K. Wong, EQE Inc, United States,
C. Rojahn, EQE Inc, United States,
C. Poland, EQE Inc, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Seismic Engineering: Research and Practice

Abstract: A Rapid Screening Procedure (RSP) developed for use nation-wide is based on a 'sidewalk survey' of a building, in which a Data Collection Form is completed by an inspector based on visual inspection of the building. The Form includes a sketch and a photograph, and provides a Basic Structural Hazard (BSH) score and Performance Modification Factors (PMF) for twelve basic building types. A final Structural Score S is calculated by summation of the BSH and PMF's. The BSH, PMF's and final S all relate to the probability of the building sustaining major life-threatening damage. Final S scores typically range from 0 to about 6, with higher S corresponding to better seismic performance, and S=2 being a suggested minimum acceptable level. Heavy Debris Removal and Rescue was briefly investigated, concluding that the main problem in U.S. earthquake victim location and extrication will be large floor slabs closely stacked ('pancaked') one on another, with victims trapped in the voids in this rubble. Handheld and small power tools, useful in burrowing and tunneling, will be the most needed equipment for rescue in this environment.

Subject Headings: Structural reliability | Seismic tests | Seismic effects | Geohazards | Debris | Earthquake resistant structures | Walkways | Geomatic surveys

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