Resilience by Design: Improving Hospital Functionality Following Earthquake
Hospitals are a critical component to community resilience following disasters. Hospitals need to be able to provide needed medical assistance to people injured during the earthquake and continued care to those already in the hospital. Recent policies and guidelines have emphasized the need for hospitals to remain operational following a major disaster. To remain functional, it is critical to understand what types of physical damage contribute to losses of specific hospital services and the loss of the hospital as a whole. In addition to structural damage, damage to nonstructural components such as suspended ceilings, partition walls, and piping, can severely hinder the hospital’s ability to continue providing life saving treatment. The necessity of hospitals to continue to operate and function following an earthquake highlight the need to move beyond code design and beyond performance-based design. Performance-based design moves beyond code-based design by considering the potential damage and downtime of the building. However, it does not provide needed information on the ability of critical facilities, such as hospitals, to continue to operate in the presence of minor to moderate nonstructural damage. Thus, a further level of understanding and analysis is required to accurately predict realistic functionality of a hospital immediately after an earthquake and during the recovery period. Resilience-based design add an additional level of analysis that maps physical damage to actual hospital services and operations to provide a depiction of what real time functionality of a hospital will actually be.
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