The case for disaster resilient housing: why and how

*NEW. If you missed the talk, you can now find it on our YouTube Channel. Here is the link.


Safe, disaster-resilient housing is critical to our way of life, prosperity and sense of security. Yet, despite decades of advances in technologies for engineering resilient housing, houses remain particularly vulnerable to damage from earthquakes, and other hazards, and this loss of housing has long-term community impacts, affecting recovery, workforce availability, economic prosperity, and public health, and exacerbating existing housing difficulties. This talk will explore housing safety challenges in earthquake and multi-hazard environments, using probabilistic performance assessments to characterize safety. Arguing that how residents perceive housing safety affects how structures are designed, built or maintained, it will also describe work done to characterize households’ and builders’ perceptions of earthquake safety. By comparing the structural performance assessments with the household perceptions, it will conclude by exploring how household perceptions of safety align – or misalign – with scientific and engineering knowledge, highlighting opportunities for changing how we design, build/rebuild and maintain housing structures. The detailed results focus on housing in the U.S. Caribbean island of the Puerto Rico, but implications for standards, construction and design of housing, recognizing all of its variety, are applicable worldwide


About the speaker

Dr. Abbie Liel (she/her) is a Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder USA. She earned undergraduate degrees in Civil Engineering and in Public & International Affairs, at Princeton University. She completed graduate studies at University College London (MSc in Civil Engineering, MSc in Building & Urban Design & Development) and at Stanford University (PhD). Abbie’s work focuses on the assessment of risks from earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and snow for buildings, especially housing, studying how design, policy and building codes can be used to improve building safety and community resilience. She has been the recipient of the Shah Family Innovation Prize from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and its Structural Engineering Institute.


Further information

This evening seminar is organised by EEFIT and SECED. Non-members of these organisations are welcome to attend. The meeting is chaired by Dr Valentina Putrino. Attendance at this meeting is free and in-person presence is encouraged. The event will also be broadcast online on Zoom by clicking on this link.

Event Details

Event Date 15/11/2022 6:30 pm
Event End Date 15/11/2022 8:00 pm
Location Wilkins Building (Main Building) Gustave Tuck LT, Main Building – University College London

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