Property Loss Estimation for Wind and Earthquake Perils


Adrian M. Chandler Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong.


This article describes the development of a generic loss assessment methodology, which is applicable to earthquake and windstorm perils worldwide. The latest information regarding hazard estimation is first integrated with the parameters that best describe the intensity of the action of both windstorms and earthquakes on building structures, for events with defined average return periods or recurrence intervals. The subsequent evaluation of building vulnerability (damageability) under the action of both earthquake and windstorm loadings utilizes information on damage and loss from past events, along with an assessment of the key building properties (including age and quality of design and construction), to assess information about the ability of buildings to withstand such loadings and hence to assign a building type to the particular risk or portfolio of risks. This predicted damage information is then translated into risk-specific mathematical vulnerability functions, which enable numerical evaluation of the probability of building damage arising at various defined levels. By assigning cost factors to the defined damage levels, the associated computation of total loss at a given level of hazard may be achieved. This developed methodology is universal in the sense that it may be applied successfully to buildings situated in a variety of earthquake and windstorm environments, ranging from very low to extreme levels of hazard. As a loss prediction tool, it enables accurate estimation of losses from potential scenario events linked to defined return periods and, hence, can greatly assist risk assessment and planning.