Lifecycle environmental performance of natural-hazard mitigation for buildings

Hsi Hsien Wei, Mirosław J. Skibniewski, Igal M. Shohet, Xijun Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The impact of natural hazards on buildings' long-term environmental performance has gained the attention of the building industry as a result of the increasing environmental loss due to hazard events devastating the built environment around the world. This study explores the role of natural hazards from the perspective of building long-term environmental performance, as well as the environmental value of hazard mitigation. Accordingly, an innovative lifecycle assessment (LCA) framework is proposed that can incorporate building damage due to hazards and convert these data into quantifiable environmental metrics. Moreover, by incorporating buildings' environmental impacts attributable to hazards as derived from the LCA framework, a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) is achieved to justify the environmental desirability of hazard mitigation actions. Two case studies are presented: the first one assesses the environmental performance of a single reinforced concrete building under seismic risk; the second assesses the environmental justification for seismic retrofit on a regional scale. The results show that, although the expected environmental loss caused by natural hazards is significant, such loss can be effectively reduced by pre-event mitigation, and that the benefits, in terms of reduction of environmental loss, outweigh the environmental impact of the mitigation itself. It is hoped that this study will serve as a basis for further research aimed at assessing the sustainability of constructed facilities facing natural hazards and evaluating the environmental value of hazard-mitigation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04015042
JournalJournal of Performance of Constructed Facilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Benefit-cost analysis
  • Carbon
  • Catastrophe risk modeling
  • Environmental impact
  • Environmental issues
  • Lifecycle
  • Lifecycle analysis
  • Risk management
  • Seismic hazard
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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