On the cost-efficiency, significance and effectiveness of terrorism risk reduction strategies for buildings

Sebastian Thöns*, Mark G. Stewart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We analyse the performance of risk reduction strategies for terrorist attacks with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) for large governmental building structures in terms of cost-efficiency, significance and effectiveness accounting for life safety in conjunction with societal preferences and capabilities. The approach builds upon an extended Bayesian pre-posterior decision analysis and the principles of the marginal lifesaving costs based on the Life Quality Index (LQI). The decision scenario is formulated for a decision maker responsible for the safety of governmental or large commercial buildings and consequently the direct risks, the indirect risks due to fatalities and economical importance of the building beside the expected cost for the individual risk reduction strategies are modelled, aggregated and optimised. The considered risk reduction strategies encompass an explicit consideration and distinction of information and actions such as (i) threat surveillance may trigger the temporary evacuation of the building, (ii) the implementation of protection provisions provided by codes and guidelines, (iii) a detailed progressive collapse assessment and specific protection measures and (iv) the combination of protection and surveillance. All considered strategies are found to contribute to risk reduction and can be cost-efficient, especially for higher threat probabilities. The risk reduction strategies comply with societal macroeconomic and demographical characteristics and societal preferences according to the LQI. The progressive collapse assessment with targeted protection measures is found to be the most cost-efficient, significant and effective counter-terrorism strategy. This finding points to the necessity for a comprehensive utilisation of scientific methods and sophisticated engineering for progressive collapse assessment to determine targeted protection measures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101957
JournalStructural Safety
Volume85
Number of pages8
ISSN0167-4730
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Risk mitigation strategies
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Value of information
  • Bayesian probability, reliability, risk and decision analysis
  • Decision optimality, Significance and effectiveness

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