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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 professional’s 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.
Earthquake Spectra


Prediction, Seismic, Retrofit, GLM


Fung, J. , Sattar, S. , Butry, D. and McCabe, S. (2020), A Predictive Modeling Approach to Estimating Seismic Retrofit Costs, Earthquake Spectra, [online], (Accessed May 20, 2024)


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Created February 19, 2020, Updated July 14, 2020