Terminology

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Structural and non-structural measures

Source(s):  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) [ 2 February 2017 ]

Definition:
Structural measures are any physical construction to reduce or avoid possible impacts of hazards, or the application of engineering techniques or technology to achieve hazard resistance and resilience in structures or systems. Non-structural measures are measures not involving physical construction which use knowledge, practice or agreement to reduce disaster risks and impacts, in particular through policies and laws, public awareness raising, training and education. Annotation: Common structural measures for disaster risk reduction include dams, flood levies, ocean wave barriers, earthquake-resistant construction and evacuation shelters. Common non-structural measures include building codes, land-use planning laws and their enforcement, research and assessment, information resources and public awareness programmes. Note that in civil and structural engineering, the term “structural” is used in a more restricted sense to mean just the load-bearing structure, and other parts such as wall cladding and interior fittings are termed “non-structural”.


  • About the Terminology The UNDRR Terminology aims to promote a common understanding and usage of disaster risk reduction concepts and to assist the disaster risk reduction efforts of authorities, practitioners and the public.

Please note: The 2009 Terminology was updated following the request of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (paragraph 50), which recommended the establishment of an open-ended intergovernmental expert working group.