A Multi-hazard Platform for the Vulnerability Assessment of Cultural Heritage Assets

The main objective of this research is to advance methods and tools for assessing the structural vulnerability of Cultural Heritages (CH) assets against multiple geo-hazard sources, such as earthquakes and their cascading hazards (tsunami and landslides), and environmental hazards, such as flooding and rainfall-induced landslides. Cumulative damage due to cascading hazards or to multiple - successive yet uncorrelated hazards - has not been widely studied to date. This is due to difficulties encountered in modelling the time-dependency of structural demand (i.e., loads) as well as the decay of structural capacity, due to both aging effects and to co-occurring hazards. The final aim is to develop an innovative, modular, computational platform for evaluating risk at various territorial levels, with a special focus on CH structures, either individual buildings or clusters. Indeed, CH encompasses not only single buildings (monuments) but also by historic urban centres composed of residential buildings that in many cases maintain their original properties. This may also lead to unacceptable risks for people occupying vulnerable historic structures, which are often public buildings.

CH assets are a distinctive feature of many areas worldwide. This aging building stock has often not been systematically maintained and repaired. Moreover, CH assets constitute an important component of individual and collective identity, and fuels tourism, a significant economic sector on which many cities and countries depend. Owing to their construction features, CH assets often are perceived to be very vulnerable to natural hazards. Hence, there is an urgent need to advance and harmonise methods and tools to assess such vulnerability and investigate the potential for the use of effective strengthening interventions. 

Funding: Amar-Franses And Foster-Jenkins Trust, Maurice Franses Memorial Scholarship

Epicentre Staff Involved: Valentina Putrino, Dina D'Ayala, Carmine Galasso