A Predictive Modeling Approach to Estimating Seismic Retrofit Costs
Juan F. Fung, Siamak Sattar, David T. Butry, Steven L. McCabe
This paper presents a methodology for estimating seismic retrofit costs from historical data. In particular, historical retrofit cost data from FEMA 156 is used to build a predictive model to estimate retrofit costs as a function of building characteristics. While not as accurate as an engineering professionals estimate, this methodology is easy to apply to generate quick estimates and is especially useful for decision makers with large building portfolios. Moreover, the predictive modeling approach provides a measure of uncertainty in terms of prediction error. The paper uses prediction error to compare different modeling choices, including the choice of distribution for costs. An application to an actual building portfolio illustrates how the choice of distribution affects cost estimates.