Data_Sheet_3_Improved building-specific flood risk assessment and implications of depth-damage function selection.docx
Average annual loss (AAL) is traditionally used as the basis of assessing flood risk and evaluating risk mitigation measures. This research presents an improved implementation to estimate building-specific AAL, with the flood hazard of a building represented by the Gumbel extreme value distribution. AAL is then calculated by integrating the area under the overall loss-exceedance probability curve using trapezoidal Riemann sums. This implementation is compared with existing AAL estimations from flood risk assessment. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to examine the variability in AAL results based on depth-damage function (DDF) choice. To demonstrate the methodology, a one-story single-family residence is selected to assess the financial benefits of freeboard (i.e., increasing lowest floor elevations). Results show that 1 ft. of freeboard results in annual flood risk reduction of over $1,000, while 4 ft of freeboard results in annual flood risk reduction of nearly $2,000. The sensitivity result suggests that the DDF selection is critical, as a large proportion of flood loss is counted below the top of the first floor. The findings of this paper will enhance DDF selection, improve flood loss estimates, encourage homeowners and communities to invest in flood mitigation, and provide government decision-makers with improved information when considering building code changes.