METHODOLOGY ON THE EMERGENCY INVESTIGATION OF POST-EARTHQUAKE SAFETY OF BUILDINGS AND ESTABLISHING OF FRAMEWORK-SOLUTIONS FOR INTERVENTIONS
The object of this methodology is to indicate the way of organizing and performing technical activities aimed to ensure the use of constructions under safety conditions in case of occurrence of a high-intensity earthquake.
A High-intensity earthquake is understood to be the event that causes general or local collapse, damage and important degradations on vast areas of the built environment.
The activities covered by this methodology are mainly focused on the following issues:
a) evaluation of the technical condition of buildings in order to take decisions on the conditions of further use or decommissioning (evacuation, demolition) thereof, by applying coloured signboards, specific to each category;
b) taking measures in order to assure the provisional structural safety of damaged buildings.
This methodology restricts its scope to dwelling, social cultural and administrative buildings, and to buildings with other functions, as the case may be.
The methodology has preserved the basic line of the Manual for post-earthquake emergency investigation and set-up of immediate framework solutions for interventions to assure provisional structural safety of damaged buildings, approved by the Ministry of Public Works and Spatial Planning, code ME-003-99, published in the Constructions’ Bulletin no. 2/1999), but it has structured in a more efficient manner the primary sorting modalities, the competences by professional skills and categories of buildings, in order to avoid agglomeration of experts and certified reviewers.
The text of signboards has partially been rephrased, according to the physical condition of the inspected buildings and to the meaning regarding the way of access or use.
The provisions have been updated, supplemented and correlated with data taken from the implementation of ATC 20 Rules in the USA, the Guidelines of New Zeeland and Italy, the Japanese Guidelines on fast post-earthquake assessment, elaborated and applied by the JICA specialists in Turkey in 1999, data from Taiwan etc., during the period 1999 to 2005.
Emphasis has been laid on the role and implementation of the inspection and on the prior evaluation of buildings with vital functions . Also, the buildings of importance class I and II of Code P100-1/2006, including those representing a public danger, have been assigned to the A class as defined in the Manual and the pre-certification of their condition was recommended.
The role and competences of the public research and design units with duties and competent specialists, and the appropriate use of specialists from the privatized design institutes which carried out standard or repetitive large application projects were specified more thoroughly.
As regards the relation between this methodology and the JICA Guidelines, the collaboration with the National Centre of Seismic Risk Mitigation and the Japanese experts showed that the general principles of inspection, evaluation and application of signboards are similar.
At this stage, it has been possible to take over certain examples and suggestive images of situations (damage condition presented in terms of quantity and quality, sketches and images) from the above guidelines, according to practices in the USA, Japan, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
Provisions ensuring the connection with emergency situation management plans and other official documents issued by local administration authorities have been introduced with reference to:
- the legal, technical and administrative status of the relations between specialists, inspectors, volunteers and the local public administration and of the remuneration of the professional activity during the emergency period, of the relations with the other authorities (police, gendarmerie) ;
- personal and labour protection issues (protection helmets and training on the access to damaged buildings and behaviour related to post-earthquake responses over the period of field investigations, of the problem related to the accommodation of guest inspectors and other related expenses);
- training of a number of specialists as legally habilitated trainers for training courses at various levels, in order to ensure a unitary application of the methodology;
- regular training and retraining of a number of inspectors, technicians, etc. at the level of local councils and of other units in the territory and of qualified engineers; all the above trainees should be informed in advance on the number, location and type of structures in the area where the provided land investigations are to be performed, taking into consideration the number of structures in place in the locality/county and their vulnerability;
- media dissemination and explanation of activities in order to ensure cooperation of the population in observing the interdictions to use dangerous constructions;
- providing logistics for the immediate intervention activities by authorities (Prefecture, General City Hall), by correlating measures with concrete provisions in the local budget and the Intervention Plan for emergency situations.
Certain provisions have been reworded, especially those with implications on subsequent activities, such as the relation between the post-seismic inspection and the subsequent stages for carrying out the expertise, design and execution of retrofit works on existing buildings, by risk classes, in accordance with Government Ordinance no. 20/1994 as republished, followed by the extension of its application for all the types of highly vulnerable constructions which are a public danger, during the stages of return to the normal condition.