Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

A Framework to Evaluate the Cost-Effectiveness of Recovery-Based Design



Juan Fung, Yating Zhang, Katherine Johnson, Dustin Cook, Siamak Sattar


Modern building codes and standards are generally focused on safeguarding public health and safety by ensuring buildings meet life safety performance objectives following an earthquake event. Certain classes of buildings, such as hospitals and schools, may be designed to a higher standard to minimize disruption. As communities target resilience of their built environment, it is becoming evident that life safety performance can nevertheless result in massive disruptions for large classes of residential and commercial buildings. It is possible to design buildings to provide more rapid restoration of reoccupancy and functionality than life safety standards. Recovery-based design is intended to support a community's post-earthquake resilience and represents an advancement in design practice. This report presents a framework to provide guidance on the economic benefits and costs of adopting functional recovery in design practice. A unique aspect of the framework is the acknowledgement that benefits from recovery-based design are distributed across various community stakeholders (e.g., residents, customers, local government), in addition to stakeholders at the building level (e.g., owners and tenants). Thus, the framework carefully details the attribution of impacts to the range of stakeholders potentially affected by improved building-design criteria. A key objective of the framework is to identify the set of potential benefits and costs, impacted stakeholders, and available data and tools for quantification. In the process, we identify gaps in measurement science for conducting a complete benefit-cost analysis. In addition, we provide a brief case study example that illustrates application of the framework.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1277
Report Number


Buildings, Community resilience, Earthquake, Economics, Functionality, Functional recovery, Recovery-based design, Reoccupancy


Fung, J. , Zhang, Y. , Johnson, K. , Cook, D. and Sattar, S. (2022), A Framework to Evaluate the Cost-Effectiveness of Recovery-Based Design, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online],, (Accessed May 27, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created May 24, 2022, Updated November 29, 2022