AbstractThe US Gulf and Atlantic coasts are often struck by severe hurricanes that cause massive economic and life losses. Climate change and structural aging are expected to exacerbate the risk associated with hurricane hazards. Appropriate methodologies are needed to assess and mitigate these effects through improved design and retrofit solutions that rigorously account for the associated uncertainties, such as performance-based engineering methodologies. This paper extends the performance-based hurricane engineering (PBHE) framework to account for the hazard nonstationarity induced by climate change effects. The newly extended nonstationary PBHE framework was implemented by performing a loss analysis on a benchmark low-rise single-family house over a 50-year design service life, for which climate change effects were accounted for by using a recently developed predictive model for hurricane wind speed distributions. The effects of different modeling assumptions and solution approaches (including approximate estimates, time discretization, interpolation techniques, and models for annual discount rates), different locations, and different climate change scenarios on the means and standard deviations of the total losses were investigated. The performance comparison of different storm mitigation strategies was also performed as an application example. In general, the proposed methodology provides consistent results under different modeling assumptions; however, the modeling assumptions for the annual discount rates can affect significantly the results. Based on the analysis results and within the limitations of the present implementation of the nonstationary performance-based hurricane engineering framework, climate change effects are generally significant, with estimated increases contained between 13.2% and 38.1% for the total loss means, and between 2.5% and 12.4% for the standard deviations of the total losses for the benchmark structure at the reference location of Pinellas Park, Florida. The extended nonstationary PBHE framework was able to identify the optimal retrofit strategy in terms of costs and benefits for any given combination of structures, residential developments, locations, and climate scenarios. The proposed nonstationary PBHE framework represents an advancement in performance-based engineering because it provides a rigorous approach to account for climate change effects. This framework has immediate practical applications, such as those shown in this paper, and could be further extended to other natural and human-made hazards.

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