Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Portland's Danger Buildings

Labrat Revenge's Portland, Oregon: The Age of a City was one of the first interactive building age maps. The map colors Portland buildings footprints by age. 544,033 buildings are displayed in total, resulting in a beautiful looking map that reveals some interesting facts about Portland's development over the years.

The Oregonian has now taken essentially the same data to create a map visualizing the buildings in the city most in danger from earthquake damage.

In 1974 Oregon enacted its first statewide building code. In 1993 western Oregon adopted its first seismic standards. Franz Rad, a professor of civil & environmental engineering at Portland State University, argues that these dates provide a "broad-brush look at the vulnerability of buildings".

Portland buildings that predate 1974 are likely to be the most vulnerable to seismic activity. Buildings erected after 1974 are better built, and those built after 1993 are even better.

Earthquakes: How Vulnerable are Portland’s Buildings? takes the Portland building age data and colors the city building footprints to show buildings constructed before 1974, those constructed between 1974 & 1993 and buildings erected after 1993. You can therefore use the map to assess the likely vulnerability of any Portland building during an earthquake.

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