Cost-Effectiveness of Stronger Woodframe Buildings Journal Article uri icon



  • We examine the cost-effectiveness of improvements in woodframe buildings. These include retrofits, redesign measures, and improved quality in 19 hypothetical woodframe dwellings. We estimated cost-effectiveness for each improvement and each zip code in California. The dwellings were designed under the CUREE-Caltech Woodframe Project. Costs and seismic vulnerability were determined on a component-by-component basis using the Assembly Based Vulnerability method, within a nonlinear time-history structural-analysis framework and using full-size test specimen data. Probabilistic site hazard was calculated by zip code, considering site soil classification, and integrated with vulnerability to determine expected annualized repair cost. The approach provides insight into uncertainty of loss at varying shaking levels. We calculated present value of benefit to determine cost-effectiveness in terms of benefit-cost ratio (BCR). We find that one retrofit exhibits BCRs as high as 8, and is in excess of 1 in half of California zip codes. Four retrofit or redesign measures are cost-effective in at least some locations. Higher quality is estimated to save thousands of dollars per house. Results are illustrated by maps for the Los Angeles and San Francisco regions and are available for every zip code in California.

publication date

  • February 1, 2006

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • March 30, 2014 8:29 AM

Full Author List

  • Porter KA; Scawthorn CR; Beck JL

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 8755-2930

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1944-8201

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 239

end page

  • 266


  • 22


  • 1