Impact of earthquakes vs. heat waves on the socioeconomic losses of buildings

S. Bianchi, J. Ciurlanti, A. Luna Navarro, E. Brembilla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review

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Recent earthquakes have confirmed the vulnerability of our built environment, resulting in significant socio-economic losses, market disruptions, and environmental damage. Additionally, climate change is causing more frequent and severe weather-related events such as heat waves, which are impacting the construction sector and the health and well-being of building occupants. This emphasizes the pressing need to increase society's overall resilience by focusing on the various hazards that buildings may encounter throughout their lifespan. Although the need for a multi-risk analysis has been recognized in current performance-based design approaches, existing studies mostly focus on single hazards thereby neglecting the impact assessment of multiple hazards on the building performance.

This paper explores the economic and social losses of buildings due to earthquakes and heat waves. The study focuses on a high-rise building consisting of a reinforced concrete structure and masonry/cladding facades, and designed for two different locations in Europe. By means of a numerical model, time-history non-linear analyses are carried out to estimate the probable maximum losses in terms of repair costs and injuries/fatalities. In addition to earthquake scenarios, the study conducts dynamic energy simulations and comfort analyses that consider local climate scenarios and extreme heat events. The energy analysis calculates the economic losses caused by weather-related power consumption while the impact on occupants is assessed in terms of discomfort hours. Results from the seismic and energy simulations are finally compared to quantify and discuss the impact of the two different extreme hazards on the building performance and their potential consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4706-4718
Number of pages13
JournalCOMPDYN Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event9th ECCOMAS Thematic Conference on Computational Methods in Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, COMPDYN 2023 - Athens, Greece
Duration: 12 Jun 202314 Jun 2023


  • Building performance
  • Earthquakes
  • Heat waves
  • Socio-economic losses


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