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Vol. 57, n.2, June 2016
pp. 91-110

VISUS: a pragmatic expert-based methodology for the seismic safety triage of school facilities

S. Grimaz and P. Malisan

Received: July 15, 2015; accepted: November 16, 2015

Abstract

Ensuring the safety of people from natural hazards is one of the main concerns of decision-makers in disaster-prone territories, particularly with reference to important public buildings, such as schools. This requires the definition of a rational and effective strategy for risk reduction, based on the preliminary knowledge of the level of risk, critical situations, possible countermeasures, and related costs. Working towards this aim, the SPRINT-Lab researchers of the University of Udine (Italy) developed the VISUS methodology (Visual Inspection for defining Safety Upgrading Strategies). VISUS is a midway approach between data-mining assessments and technical detailed evaluations. Through the pre-codification of the expert-reasoning process, VISUS permits the implementation of a pragmatic technical triage for planning purposes. The outcomes of the assessment process are simple graphical indicators that summarize the evaluations, pointing out the main weaknesses and the needs of intervention for each school. Applications demonstrate that VISUS provides an effective decision-making tool for planning risk mitigation on a regional scale.

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