Financial assessment of incremental seismic retrofitting of Nepali stone-masonry buildings

Nicola Giordano*, Alastair Norris, Vibek Manandhar, Liva Shrestha, Dev R. Paudel, Natalie Quinn, Elizabeth Rees, Hima Shrestha, Narayan Marasini, Rajani Prajapati, Guragain Ramesh, Flavia De Luca, Anastasios Sextos

*Corresponding author for this work

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

Abstract

Despite its critical location, right on top of the Main Himalayan Thrust, the building stock of Nepal is mainly constituted by highly vulnerable non-engineered unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. Most of them were realized with traditional construction techniques and locally available materials like field stones and mud mortar. The empirical evidence from historical earthquakes has shown that these buildings have very limited seismic capacity. On the contrary, if adequate retrofitting interventions are implemented, their seismic perfor-mance can improve substantially. Unfortunately, the upfront investment required by retrofitting remains an issue since it is considered too high and not associated with an immediate and tangible benefit. This prevents building owners and investors from retrofitting properties as preparedness measure. Starting from these considerations, this work presents an incremental approach for the implementation of retrofitting so that the total investment is spread over time in a gradual and cost-effective way. In details, two government-approved retrofitting techniques for Nepali stone in mud mortar masonry (SMM) buildings are broken down into phases and analysed from an engineering and financial perspective. A probabilistic cost-benefit analysis of each phase is carried out to quantify the return on investment and the payback time of seismic enhancement. Results indicate that retro-fitting is a financially advantageous investment since the reduction in future earthquake-induced loss exceeds the upfront cost of the intervention. Additionally, the incremental approach allows more flexibility in implementing effective risk management actions at regional and national scale.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102297
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund - Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (GCRF- EPSRC ) under the project “Seismic Safety and Resilience of Schools in Nepal” SAFER ( EP/P028926/1 ) and by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) through the DFID funded project “Seismic Retrofitting of Unsafe Rural Housing in Nepal”. Some preliminary results of this work have been presented at the National Symposium on Nepal's Reconstruction ( NSNR-2020 ) organized by the National Reconstruction Authority, 24–27 August 2020, Kathmandu.

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund - Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (GCRF-EPSRC) under the project ?Seismic Safety and Resilience of Schools in Nepal? SAFER (EP/P028926/1) and by United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) through the DFID funded project ?Seismic Retrofitting of Unsafe Rural Housing in Nepal?. Some preliminary results of this work have been presented at the National Symposium on Nepal's Reconstruction (NSNR-2020) organized by the National Reconstruction Authority, 24?27 August 2020, Kathmandu.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • Seismic enhancement
  • Incremental retrofitting
  • Stone masonry
  • Mud mortar
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • Nepal

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