CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractMotivating investment in predisaster mitigation requires accurate estimates of natural hazard risks. The present tools for loss estimation overlook building-level variations in wind loading induced by the configuration of surrounding buildings, called neighborhood texture. In doing so, such tools underestimate expected wind-related losses and undervalue wind mitigation. In this paper, texture effects are incorporated into a widely recognized loss estimation framework and applied to a case study of the residential building stock in Florida, with a focus on five densely populated counties representing a range of hazard exposures. For this study, each building is individually assessed for its prevailing local texture, and its occupancy and building characteristics are probabilistically assigned based on current census data. Mitigation measures considered include shutters, straps, and tie downs. Even accounting for more than a third of homes already having these mitigation measures, the model results suggest that implementing them would yield annualized benefits of $4.3 billion statewide ranging from $136 per household in Duval County to $1,950 per household in Miami-Dade County (respectively 100% and 90% higher than conventional estimates).



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