Supervisor: Prof. Michel Jaboyedoff
Experts: Dr. Olivier Lateltin, Pr. Jean Ruegg
The vulnerability has a direct influence on the concept of risk. Yet, in the literature, its definition may vary. The theoretical part of this Master Thesis will seek to define and explain the underlying concepts.
In a context of building insurance, it is a determining factor heavily influencing the amount of damages. It is also a frequent topic for insurance companies because it is among the causes of the increase in damages related to natural disasters. The theoretical part of this writing will seek to understand how this concept affects the amount of damages and which factors make it evolve. It will issue its representativeness as well as factors that are changing. The concept of vulnerability will be developed, like other elements of risk, after searching through bibliography, described through a state of the art.
The second part of this Master Thesis will seek to illustrate the theoretical vulnerability concepts learned in the first part and apply them in a context of flooding of buildings. For that, a study area with highly diversified buildings was chosen, namely the village of Le Paquier in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. The field investigations will consist in visits of buildings and will be documented by numerous photographs. An entry interface, including all vulnerable parts of the buildings will be developed to facilitate data collection and to allow the assessment of risk. Hazard, exposure and the value of property are included provided by existing hazard map and building insurance data in this reflection to consider an integrated management of risk. A series of flood scenarios will be made to the field study.
As part as an opening to a larger scale to offer a rigorous assessment of vulnerability, this Master Thesis focuses on identifying the difficulties caused by such an approach. These observations are described in the results of the work, as well as prospects. They are also a strong interest for future development of the proposed methods.
The amount of potential damages from the three scenarios presented in the result part of the Master Thesis cannot be taken as absolute values, but as a possible investigation of the fragility of buildings.