The general objective of the Project is to improve the efficiency of earthquake risk mitigation methods and its capability of protecting structures, infrastructures and people. Project aims at assessing the best way to use jointly all the information coming from earthquake forecast, vulnerability decrease in a probabilistic framework fit for decision making.
Earthquakes are a serious threat for Romania. Seismic codes are important means for strengthening the resilience of our society against the negative consequences of major earthquakes and, therefore, should become central nodes of disaster mitigation.
The concept of BIGSEES project is „Innovation through standardization”, as a recommendation for closing the gap between R&D activities and standardization work. In the EU strategy, standardization is as a key instrument for improvement in order to foster innovation (Brussels, COM(2008)133 final-Towards an increased contribution from standardization to innovation to Europe). There are some chapters in European Code (EC-8) which are not applicable at all to deep Vrancea earthquake (like effective design values for acceleration, velocities and displacements). Standardization has a dimension of public interest, in particular whenever issues of safety to crustal, strong and deep Vrancea earthquakes.
According to the provisions of EN 1998-1 Eurocode 8 (EC 8), the National Standard implementing EC 8 will comprise the full text of the Eurocode (including any annexes), as published by CEN, which may be preceded by a National title page and National foreword, and may be followed by a National Annex. The National Annex may only contain information on those parameters which are left open in the Eurocode 8 for national choice, known as Nationally Determined Parameters, to be used for the design of buildings and civil engineering works to be constructed in the country concerned.Now, civil engineers and seismologists are joining their efforts to better calibrate the Nationally Determined Parameters.
Romania, as a full EU member, has to calibrate the Nationally Determined Parameters to be included in the National Annex. A first attempt to develop a National Annex was performed in 2008 by smoothing the differences between the philosophy and provisions of EN 1998-1 and the seismic design practice and provisions of P100-1 Romanian Code for Seismic Design of Buildings. Nevertheless, the National Annex is not fully in line with the philosophy of EC 8. The seismic action, as it is defined in EC 8, requires more refined information on local ground conditions of the construction site. The proposed Project envisages to better calibrate the Nationally Determined Parameters for a refined definition of seismic action in line with the provisions of EC 8. The results of the Project will enable the full and reliable definition, in the Romanian National Annex, of the seismic action in line with the requirements of EN 1998-1.
Another major achievement of the BIGSEES Project will be to transform the results of this methodological research on earthquake risk reduction into effective application, that is „New Romanian Seismic Action”, as part of the European Code EC-8 for a refined implementation, in Romanian design practice.
The expected results of the BIGSEES project can play an important role in reducing the negative impact of catastrophic events on densely populated areas and, particularly, in mitigating the damage to strategic structures and lifelines.