Property Risk Assessment for Expansive Soils in Louisiana

Rubayet Bin Mostafiz, Carol J. Friedland, Robert V. Rohli, Nazla Bushra, Chad L. Held
2021 Frontiers in Built Environment  
The physical properties of soil can affect the stability of construction. In particular, soil swelling potential (a term which includes swelling/shrinking) is often overlooked as a natural hazard. Similar to risk assessment for other hazards, assessing risk for soil swelling can be defined as the product of the probability of the hazard and the value of property subjected to the hazard. This research utilizes past engineering and geological assessments of soil swelling potential, along with
more » ... omic data from the U.S. Census, to assess the risk for soil swelling at the census-block level in Louisiana, a U.S. state with a relatively dense population that is vulnerable to expansive soils. Results suggest that the coastal parts of the state face the highest risk, particularly in the areas of greater population concentrations, but that all developed parts of the state have some risk. The annual historical property loss, per capita property loss, and per building property loss are all concentrated in southeastern Louisiana and extreme southwestern Louisiana, but the concentration of wealth in cities increases the historical property loss in most of the urban areas. Projections of loss by 2050 show a similar pattern, but with increased per building loss in and around a swath of cities across southwestern and south-central Louisiana. These results may assist engineers, architects, and developers as they strive to enhance the resilience of buildings and infrastructure to the multitude of environmental hazards in Louisiana.
doi:10.3389/fbuil.2021.754761 fatcat:qsxixtanqfgp5ndu3a6g4ugs7m