USES OF RISK ANALYSIS TO ACHIEVE BALANCED SAFETY IN BUILDING DESIGN AND OPERATIONS

Committee on Risk Appraisal in the Development of Facilities Design Criteria

Building Research Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

Bruce D. McDowell

Andrew C. Lemer

Editors

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1991



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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations USES OF RISK ANALYSIS TO ACHIEVE BALANCED SAFETY IN BUILDING DESIGN AND OPERATIONS Committee on Risk Appraisal in the Development of Facilities Design Criteria Building Research Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council Bruce D. McDowell Andrew C. Lemer Editors NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government, and upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Stuart Bondurant, is acting president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Funding for the FCC program was provided through the following agreements between the indicated federal agency and the National Academy of Sciences: Department of State Contract No. 1030–621218; National Science Foundation Grant No. MSS–8902669, under master agreement 8618641; and U.S. Postal Service grant, unnumbered. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 91-67599 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04680-7 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 S 493 Printed in the United States of America

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations COMMITTEE ON RISK APPRAISAL IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF FACILITIES DESIGN CRITERIA Chairman BRUCE D. McDOWELL, Director Government Policy Research, Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Washington, D.C. Members JOHN C. CANESTRO, P.E., Consultant, Pleasanton, California MICHELLE A. DEPEW, Building Inspector, Brewster, New York BRUCE ELLINGWOOD, Professor and Chairman of Civil Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland ROBERT WILLIAM FITZGERALD, Professor of Civil Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts GEORGE L. HEAD, Vice President, Underwriters and Insurance Institute of America, Malvern, Pennsylvania FREDERICK KRIMGOLD, Associate Dean for Research and Extension, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Washington-Alexandria Center, Alexandria, Virginia ANATOL LONGINOW, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, Illinois MORRIS A. WARD, Executive Director of Environmental Health Center, National Safety Council, Washington, D.C. CHRIS WHIPPLE, Vice President and Director, Western Operations, Clement International Corporation, San Francisco, California

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations ROBERT G. ZALOSH, Manager of Applied Research Department and Assistant Vice President, Factory Mutual Research Corporation, Norwood, Massachusetts Federal Construction Council Liaison Representatives RICHARD BUKOWSKI, Fire Hazard Analysis, National Institutes of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland ROBERT CARR, Architectural Service, Office of Facilities, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. JEFF CISNEY, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C. JOSEPH J. CORLISS, Division of Health Facilities Planning, HHS/PHS, Parklawn Building, Rockville, Maryland DONALD EVICK, Real Estate and Building Department, U.S. Postal Service, Washington, D.C. DAVID FRABLE, General Services Administration, Washington, D.C. TOM HURLEY, Design Policy Branch, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Alexandria, Virginia ROBERT T. KRATZKE, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. RICH LAMPO, U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Champaign, IL JACK METZLER, U.S. Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. JUANITA MILDENBERG, Facilities Engineering Branch, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Maryland KENNETH MURPHY, U.S. Department of Energy, Germantown, Maryland CHARLES B. PITTINGER, JR., P.E., Facilities Engineering Office, National Aeronautics & Space Administration, Washington, D.C. STROHN SPARKS, Office of Health Facilities, HHS/PHS, Rockville, Maryland WAYNE STIEFEL, CFR, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland Public Facilities Council Liaison Representatives ROBERT KELLER, Division of Design and Construction, office of Administration, State of Missouri, Jefferson City, Missouri Building Research Board ANDREW C. LEMER, Director HENRY A. BORGER, Executive Secretary, FCC PATRICIA WHOLEY, Staff Associate SUZETTE CODY, Project Assistant JOANN CURRY, Senior Secretary

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations BUILDING RESEARCH BOARD(1990–1991) Chairman RICHARD T. BAUM, Consultant, Jaros, Baum and Bolles, New York, New York Members LYNN S. BEEDLE, University Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering and Director, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania GERALD L. CARLISLE, Secretary-Treasurer, International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen, Washington, D.C. NANCY RUTLEDGE CONNERY, Consultant, Woolwich, Maine C. CHRISTOPHER DEGENHARDT, President, EDAW, Inc., San Francisco, California ELISHA C. FREEDMAN, Regional Manager, Boyer, Bennett & Shaw, Inc., and Executive-in-Residence, University of Hartford, Connecticut DONALD G. ISELIN, USN, Retired, Consultant, Santa Barbara, California FREDERICK KRIMGOLD, Associate Dean for Research and Extension, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Alexandria, Virginia J. W. MORRIS, USA, Retired, Engineer Advisor, Zorc, Rissetto, Weaver & Rosen, Washington, D.C.

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations HAROLD J. PARMELEE, President, Turner Construction Company, New York, New York LESLIE E. ROBERTSON, Director, Design and Construction, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, New York, New York JAMES E. WOODS, William E. Jamerson Professor of Building Construction, College of Architecture and Urban Studies, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia APRIL L. YOUNG, Senior Vice President, NVR Development, L.P., McLean, Virginia Staff ANDREW C. LEMER, Director HENRY A. BORGER, Executive Secretary, Federal Construction Council PETER H. SMEALLIE, Executive Secretary, Public Facilities Council PATRICIA M. WHOLEY, Staff Associate SUZETTE R. CODY, Project Assistant JOANN V. CURRY, Senior Secretary LENA B. GRAYSON, Program Assistant

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations PREFACE A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If one wishes to carry a heavy burden, the strength of all links in the chain must be at least adequate for the load, and there is little value in having a few stronger links if weak ones break. And so it is with safety of buildings. Our current system of building codes, design criteria, and regulatory agency practices for assuring safety seems to work well for some hazards but fails to address others, and lacks mechanisms for balancing efforts to address many sources of potential risk. Communities often move quickly to alter the fire safety standards following deadly fires but may neglect for years the threat of earthquakes. As a nation we spend millions of dollars to remove asbestos from older buildings while remaining relatively indifferent to radon gas. Federal government agencies are entrusted with using the public's resources as efficiently as possible to achieve their missions, and must respond to this inconsistent attention to safety when legislation or other regulations mandate uneven or uninformed strategies for achieving safety. Some of these agencies, drawing on the experience of managing defense and nuclear systems and regulating food and drug safety, urge broader application of the principles and procedures of risk analysis to the field of building safety to enhance safety cost-effectively.

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations The agencies of the Federal Construction Council asked the Building Research Board to consider this proposition. That request motivated the study reported here. We and the committee whose deliberations are reported here recognize that life is full of risks, and we have only limited resources to devote to building safety. As a nation, we must use all available tools to assure the safest possible buildings within the limits of our resources. We believe that risk analysis tools will enable government policy makers and building professionals to do this job better. We hope through this report to foster use and further development of these tools, and thereby to enhance the safety of America's buildings. Bruce D. Mcdowell, Chairman Committee on Risk Appraisal in the Development of Facilities Design Criteria Andrew C. Lemer, Director Building Research Board

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Risks—in buildings,1 as elsewhere—are an unavoidable part of life. The sources of risk sometimes lead to catastrophes. The famous Chicago fire of 1871, the 1906 and 1989 San Francisco earthquakes, Boston's 1942 Coconut Grove fire, and New York's turn-of-the-century dark, stagnant, disease-ridden tenements illustrate vividly some of the more substantial dangers that people may face in buildings and other facilities. Buildings and other facilities are expected to house and serve a variety of activities with a high degree of safety and security, and the task of ensuring that they do so has been entrusted primarily to locally enforced building codes. These codes embody criteria of acceptable design and construction practice that have developed over a period of many years, sometimes in reaction to public health and safety catastrophes resulting from growing concentrations of urban population and the introduction of dangerous new technologies. Federal government agencies have adopted their own design criteria, which are often similar to those contained in codes. By documenting for designers and facilities operators the standards of good practice defined by industry consensus, building codes and formal design criteria have made great strides in bringing facilities dangers under control. 1   Much of the discussion throughout this report applies equally to all types of constructed facilities, and not only to buildings.

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations However, the scope of building codes and design criteria are necessarily limited. As regulatory devices operating within a local political context, codes deal with specific hazards and sometimes focus greater attention on some hazards than on others. While some code provisions and criteria are based on current research and complex analyses, others rest on past product performance and expert opinion, and they have remained unchanged because there is no overt evidence that change may be warranted. Improving health and fatality statistics suggest that this system has delivered increasingly safe facilities, but we do not really know the levels of overall risk to which facility users are routinely exposed, or the levels of safety that might be achieved through more balanced effort. Facility risks stem primarily from rare events, such as earthquakes and fires, or from slowly accumulating effects of exposure to hazardous conditions. Public awareness of such hazards and how to respond in hazardous situations contribute to reduction of loss. Nevertheless, experience suggests that unnecessary costs are imposed to guard against some hazards while others are relatively neglected. The evolving discipline of risk analysis, as applied to engineering issues, is an outgrowth primarily of the nuclear power and defense industries. This discipline offers the next step in improving facility safety and the safeguarding of property values, a promising means for facility professionals and the nation to improve the overall safety of its facilities—both new and existing—without imposing unacceptable costs. Federal agencies and the private sector should work to adopt risk analysis procedures more broadly in planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance. Risk analysis is, above all, a very effective way of thinking about how public health, safety, the beneficial uses of a facility, and property values may be protected from failures of facilities to perform as anticipated. As a set of tools and procedures used to characterize, typically in a quantitative manner, the threats to safety posed by specific hazards, risk analysis procedures may be applied at various levels of sophistication and detail to support effective risk management. Risk management is a much broader activity than technical risk analysis alone. Risk analysis provides improved information for risk managers to use in exploring their options and making decisions to improve safety and protect property values. Those who plan, design, and manage facilities seek to manage risk within the context of the anticipated behavior and preferences of people who occupy and own buildings and the costs of practical actions designed to avoid hazards or reduce the consequences of hazardous occurrences. Their ability to effectively manage risk is often limited by a lack of adequate data and effective analysis. While new computer-based analysis tools are emerging, greater effort is needed to bring techniques of risk analysis more quickly out of the universities and research laboratories and into general application.

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations There are now no generally accepted practices of facility risk analysis and management. The nuclear power industry and structural community have adopted probabilistic analysis procedures that represent limited applications of risk analysis, but broader adoption of a common terminology and broader application of such methods to multiple hazards in and around buildings are needed. Lacking a common framework for discussion and analysis of safety, the public and government officials are often poorly prepared to deal effectively with issues related to events that have small probabilities of occurrence and the potential for severe consequences. Development and broad application of risk analysis procedures will help facility professionals, the policy makers responsible for assuring safety, and the people and property owners exposed to risk to understanding more clearly the nature of those risks and to determine what levels of risk are socially and economically tolerable. Such understanding and clear communication about acceptable levels of risk will then help to assure that safety is achieved and property values are protected as efficiently as possible. The following actions should be taken to enhance safety through greater use of risk analysis: Cost-effective procedures of risk analysis should be appropriately applied in design, construction, operations, and maintenance, to encourage greater forethought and better allocation of resources in managing risk. Efforts to apply risk analysis procedures should initially be focused in several specific areas: (a) design and operations of individual high hazard facilities, (b) quality control and code enforcement in construction, (c) facility operations and management activities, (d) facility maintenance, (e) retrofit strategies for dealing with newly identified hazards, (f) strategies for emergency response to hazardous events such as fire, severe storms, or landslides, (g) development and revision of building codes and design guide criteria, (h) evaluation and certification of new materials or technologies, and (i) public discussion and decision-making about standards, codes, and project approvals. Federal agencies should adopt a risk-based approach to establishing their facilities planning and design criteria, construction quality assurance procedures, operating policies, and maintenance practices, particularly in high hazard situations. The national model code organizations and state and local building codes should accept specific applications of risk analysis procedures for assessing safety of facilities where large numbers of people, especially severe hazards, unusual design or operating characteristics, or unusually high strategic or economic value may lead to unusually high risk. Facility managers and public officials responsible for regulating building occupancy should adopt risk analysis principles and procedures to

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations ensure that (a) operating and maintenance practices or facility renewal activities do not contribute to increasing risk, and (b) needed actions are taken to control newly recognized risks. Federal agencies should fund additional research to characterize risk in facilities and to develop more general measures of hazard and risk from their shared experience in facility performance. These agencies should work through the model codes and standards organizations to motivate the private sector to use these measures as well. The Federal Construction Council should bring together the federal regulatory and construction agencies, the insurance industry, the codes and professional organizations that deal with building standards, and educational institutions to consider establishing institutional mechanisms for systematic collection and sharing of data on facility failures and hazards incidents, to enable broader application of risk analysis in and around buildings. Government agencies, model codes organizations, building professionals, and others responsible for assuring facility safety should work—through professional education and training and communication with policy makers, facility owners, and users—to increase general awareness of how application of risk analysis principles and practices can be used to improve safety and protect property values at reasonable costs. The benefits to be gained by applying risk analysis to facilities include early identification of design weaknesses; better allocation of resources to achieve balanced reduction of risks; better recognition of the role that human action in design, construction, operation, and maintenance plays in raising or lowering risks; and improved ability to recognize and respond to new hazards or increasing risks. These benefits—for facility owners, occupants, and neighbors—will mean lives and dollars saved.

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations STUDIES IN MANAGEMENT OF BUILDING TECHNOLOGY This report is one of a series of products of the Building Research Board's strategic program in Management of Building Technology. An interdisciplinary field of study rather than a recognized discipline, management of technology links engineering, science, and management to plan, develop, and implement technological capabilities to shape and accomplish the strategic and operational objectives of an organization. Observers of the U. S. construction industry have expressed concern that failure to manage technology effectively—at the level of the nation and the individual firm—is a primary factor underlying a perceived risk that U. S. industry is losing its competitive edge in an increasingly global marketplace. These observers argue that action is needed to deal with issues such as liability and societal risk aversion, short-term perspectives, and traditions that divert resources and discourage innovation in both the processes of construction and in facilities. The Building Research Board has undertaken, through this strategic program, to focus discussion and stimulate appropriate response to such issues.

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations This study was supported as part of the technical program of the Federal Construction Council (FCC). The FCC is a continuing activity of the Building Research Board, which is a unit of the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems of the National Research Council. The purpose of the FCC is to promote cooperation among federal construction agencies and between such agencies and other elements of the building community in addressing technical issues of mutual concern. The FCC program is supported by 16 federal agencies: the Department of the Air Force, the Department of the Army (2 agencies), the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Department of the Navy, the Department of State, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Public Facilities Council (PFC) was formed in 1983 to make available to state and local governments, quasi governmental authorities, and others, the forum and services of the BRB and NRC to identify technical problems and research needs facing construction administrators and facilities managers. Sponsors of the PFC currently include a score of state and local governments or interstate entities. Funding and participation are typically drawn from the executive office of the jurisdiction responsible for facilities development and management. Reports resulting from Building Research Board programs are provided free of charge to sponsoring entities.For information contact: Director Building Research Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations CONTENTS 1.   Introduction   1     Source and Scope of the Study   4     Focus and Structure of the Report   5 2.   Risk and its Analysis in and around Buildings   7     Defining Risk   8     Sources of Risk   9     Mechanisms Used to Limit Risk   10     Achieving Greater Safety   12     Weighing Risk and Costs   16 3.   Using Risk Analysis to Enhance Building Safety and Protect Property Values   17     Logic and Process of Building Risk Analysis   18     Need for Information and Data   19     Benefits and Costs of Risk Reduction   22     Institutional Setting for Safety and Risk Management   24 4.   Opportunities for Enhancing Safety and Protecting Values   27     Areas of Opportunity   27     Overcoming Lack of Data for Risk Analysis   30     Mobilizing for Risk Analysis   32     Communicating with the Public   33

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Uses of Risk Analysis to Achieve Balanced Safety in Building Design and Operations 5.   Findings and Conclusions   35     Building Safety and Risk   35     An Analysis Process   36     Broader Use of Risk Analysis   37     References and Selected Bibliography on Data and Methods for Risk Analysis of Constructed Facilities   41     APPENDIXES     A.   Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff   49 B.   Current Recognition of Risk and Risk-Based Design at Selected Federal Agencies   53 C.   Illustrative Risk Analysis Procedures   57 D.   Probabilistic Risk Assessment   63