Why do we still tolerate buildings that are Unsafe in Earthquakes?
Not tolerating unsafe building means having a sound engineering definition and a sound implementation strategy. From an engineering perspective, we looked at the common concepts/ terminology we use in engineering to describe safe buildings and the procedures we use to satisfy ourselves as designers that we are doing the right thing. However, we find there are many paradoxes (i.e., conflicts with expectations) in our common procedures and explanations when we try to define safe. These are because interpretations vary between people and cultures. We authors (each coming from a very different culture) have debated over many years our appreciation of risk. It is clear that a definition of safe depends both on how we define risk, and on how much risk we are prepared to accept.
- NBM&CW August 2011