A Building Classification Scheme of Housing Stock in Malawi for Earthquake Risk Assessment

Panos Kloukinas, Viviana Novelli, Innocent Kafodya, Ignasio Ngoma, John Macdonald, Katsuichiro Goda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
272 Downloads (Pure)


This study presents a building classification scheme for residential houses in Malawi by focusing upon informal construction, which accounts for more than 90% of housing in the country, which has the highest urbanisation rate in the world. The proposed classification is compatible with the Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) method and can be used for seismic vulnerability assessments of building stock in Malawi. To obtain realistic proportions of the building classes that are prevalent in Malawi, a building survey was conducted in Central and Southern Malawi between 10th and 20th July 2017. The results from the survey are used to modify the PAGER-based proportions of main housing typologies by reflecting actual housing construction in the surveyed areas. The results clearly highlight the importance of using realistic building stock data for seismic risk assessment in Malawi; relying on global building stock information can result in significant bias of earthquake impact assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Aug 2019

Structured keywords



  • field survey
  • building classification
  • earthquake
  • seismic vulnerability
  • risk assessment
  • sustainable development


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