Reducing the risk posed by natural and anthropogenic earthquakes across Europe: The SERA project

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Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre

By Revveka Trigka

The recently launched Horizon 2020 project SERA (Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe) aims to reduce the risk posed by natural and anthropogenic earthquakes across Europe. As part of this effort, a comprehensive earthquake risk modelling framework for Europe is being developed by a core group of engineering / risk partners in collaboration with the Global Earthquake Model or GEM, and with contributions from the wider engineering / risk community via online tools and workshops. This model will identify the regions in Europe with high seismic risk, and will generate a number of risk metrics fundamental for the development and implementation of disaster risk reduction measures.

One of the first activities of this endeavour involves the compilation of GEM’s Building Classification Survey by hundreds of architects, engineers, urban planners and risk modellers across Europe. The aim is to create a detailed inventory of the most frequent building typologies used for residential, commercial and industrial construction in Europe. The tool follows GEM’s Building Taxonomy, which is a scheme for classifying buildings worldwide using thirteen different attributes that influence the seismic performance of buildings. Many of these attributes are also relevant for other natural hazards, and expansion of the taxonomy for use in flood risk is being carried out in collaboration with the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR), the CIMA Foundation (International Centre on Environmental Modelling), and the British Geological Survey.

You can help us to build knowledge on the European building stock! If you have data or knowledge on the building stock in any country in Europe, then we encourage you to fill in the “Building Classification Survey”.

Your contribution will be much appreciated, and will be acknowledged in any future publications. A Workshop to discuss the input received from this survey, and its use within a European building exposure model, will take place in March 2018, in Pavia, Italy. Finally, all data, models, software and results developed during the SERA project and useful for assessing seismic risk across Europe will be openly released to the community during and after the project. 

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