Project Title/ID Number Nonstructural Hazard Mitigation in Life Sciences Building Testbed—1202003
Start/End Dates 10/1/03—9/30/04
Project Leader Mary Comerio (UCB/F)
Team Members

F=faculty; GS=graduate student; US=undergraduate student; PD=post-doc; I=industrial collaborator; O=other

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1. Project Goals/Objectives:

The goal of this project is to develop a procedure for estimating downtime in the loss-modeling component of the PEER methodology. The objective is to enhance current work ongoing in the Van Nuys and UC Science Testbeds by Eduardo Miranda and Jim Beck. Their work is focused on estimating financial losses and construction costs for repairs. My work would develop a description of the rational (construction time related) downtime and the “irrational” component (financing, business operations, politics, etc.).

2. Role of this project in supporting PEER’s mission (vision):

Understanding the trade-offs between the up-front costs of performance based engineering design and the long-term benefits in losses avoided—particularly downtime is a key component of performance engineering. This project helps to realistically define downtime and create a method for estimating the impacts within the PEER methodology.

3. Methodology Employed:

The first component of the research involves documenting downtimes for academic buildings at Stanford resulting from the Loma Prieta earthquake, as well as examples from the Northridge earthquake. The second phase will be to develop a methodology for estimating the two components of downtime based on damage and economic conditions.

4. Brief Description of past year’s accomplishments (Year 6) & more detail on expected Year 7 accomplishments:

Year six saw the completion of the UC Science testbed, which provided a better understanding of the complexity of nonstructural losses and the contribution of nonstructural losses to operational failure (downtime) within a laboratory building and within a network (or campus) of buildings. The individual reports by testbed researchers as well as testbed summary reports are in press.

For this research, I have reviewed downtime data and interviewed decisions makers. This data has provided the basis for creating descriptive categories of downtimes and their consequences. The time needed to complete construction repairs based on specific damage is considered the rational component and is easily estimated using methodology developed by Miranda and others. The time needed for financing, technical and management decisions is termed the “irrational” component. The experience from previous earthquakes suggests there are three timeframes governed by management and economic decisions: immediate repair, six to eighteen month delay of construction start, and two-to-ten year delay of construction start. Decisions are based on critical space needs, availability of surge space and availability of funding. While the funding may vary with economic conditions, the space needs can be estimated from existing space management data. The second step of the project will be to create a mathematical model for estimating the irrational component of downtime in the PEER methodology.

5. Other Similar Work Being Conducted Within and Outside PEER and How This Project Differs:

Other work on loss modeling directly relates damage and downtime based on construction repair methods. This project looks at economic and operational decisions applied to earthquake damaged buildings to assess the management component of time needed to resume operations. This work is similar to work by Chang, Meszaros and Ince, whose work focuses on decision variables from the perspective of the building owner.

6. Plans for Year 8 if project is expected to be continued:

While this specific project may not be continued, the plan for year eight is to clarify the trade-offs between design decisions and performance consequences.

7. Describe any actual instances where you are aware your results have been used in industry:

I have been contacted by Genetech and Bayer, two major biotechnology corporations who want to use our laboratory assessment methodology and a Business and Industry partner, Rutherford and Chekene has been redesigning labs at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley based on research results.

8. Expected Milestones & Deliverables:

The first milestone—a review of actual times between damage and construction for appropriate examples from past earthquakes—is almost complete. The second deliverable—a model for estimating downtime based on data and expert reviews—should be complete in Fall 2004.

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