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.

The Total Costs of Seismic Retrofits: State of the Art



Juan Fung, David Butry, Siamak Sattar, Steven McCabe


This article presents the current state-of-practice with respect to quantifying the total cost to retrofit an existing building. In particular, we combine quantitative, qualitative, and heuristic data to provide a taxonomy for understanding the direct and indirect costs associated with seismic risk mitigation. Much of the literature to date has focused on estimating structural retrofit costs, the costs of retrofitting the structural elements of a building. In contrast, there is very little research or data on the remaining cost components of the total cost. We propose using structural cost as the foundation for approximating the remaining cost components and the total cost itself. To validate our findings, we compare the proposed approximations with actual cost estimates developed by engineering professionals.
Earthquake Spectra


Building economics, earthquake risk reduction, retrofit, resilience


Fung, J. , Butry, D. , Sattar, S. and McCabe, S. (2021), The Total Costs of Seismic Retrofits: State of the Art, Earthquake Spectra, [online],, (Accessed May 27, 2024)


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

Created May 7, 2021, Updated October 14, 2021