Potential of Building Information Modelling for seismic risk mitigation in buildings
The seismic assessment of an existing building is often required, possibly due to a change in use, changes in legislation (as recently occurred in New Zealand), for insurance purposes or to permit continued occupancy following a major earthquake. This discussion paper explores three ways in which Building Information Modelling (BIM) could assist in the assessment and mitigation of seismic risk: (i) BIM could provide valuable data on characteristics of both structural and non-structural elements within a building to permit a reliable and holistic seismic risk assessment to be undertaken; (ii) administer a self-diagnosis process utilising damage information received from structural health monitoring technologies prior to and following an earthquake, thus reducing the need for potentially dangerous and time-consuming physical post-earthquake inspections; and (iii) enabling realisation of an emergency management hub within a building management system for implementing control processes to monitor and eventually shutdown damaged mechanical services (e.g. gas pipes) following an earthquake, thus limiting the negative consequences of earthquake induced damage. By providing a leading-edge discussion of these three subjects, with reference to building damage observed in previous earthquakes, important directions for research in BIM are identified that promise to provide a more effective means of seismic risk assessment and mitigation.
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