Incorporation of BIM-based probabilistic non-structural damage assessment into agent-based post-earthquake evacuation simulation

Sajjad Hassanpour, Vicente A. Gonzalez, Yang Zou, Jiamou Liu, Feng Wang, Enrique del Rey Castillo, Guillermo Cabrera-Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Earthquakes can cause severe damage to structural and non-structural elements of buildings; consequently, they pose high risks to human lives. To mitigate such risks, attention has been paid to enhancing the indoor environment for increased building safety. Yet little effort has been made to assess a building occupants' evacuation behaviors in response to damage to the indoor environment. This paper addresses this issue with a novel simulation framework that couples human behaviors with changes to the indoor building environment during post-earthquake evacuation. In particular, we present a building information modelling (BIM)-based prototype that simulates seismic damage to the non-structural indoor elements and visualizes its impacts on evacuation using a color-coded heat map. The simulated damage is then used as input to an agent-based model for post-earthquake evacuation. Using a probabilistic method to assess the non-structural elements' damage states, we are able to evaluate the impact of indoor damage on the evacuation process. We performed a trial of our prototype for a hypothetical earthquake in an educational building. The results revealed how the average evacuation time would increase as the earthquake intensity increases (from 38.6 s for the no-damage scenario to 122.9 for the highest-damage scenario). The proposed prototype has the potential to be joined with other tools, such as finite-element-based simulation, to incorporate structural analysis as well. Planners and designers can explicitly use our model's output to analyze the post-earthquake evacuation with the indoor non-structural damage to assess different building design geometries that increase the chances of a suitable evacuation process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101958
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Agent-based models
  • Building information modelling (BIM)
  • Earthquake
  • Evacuation simulation
  • Non-structural damage


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