Damage Function

Methodology - using the example of Germany and the Netherlands (2)

Diagram: Example of a Dutch damage function, Table: Asset value dependent on land use

However, the damage function is a function between 0 (no damage) and 1 (total loss of asset) (see diagram to the right). But even in cases of extreme flood there will be no complete loss of all material assets. Damage functions are characterised by the parameters:

  • first occurrence of damage
  • maximum damage value (asset value): depends on the landuse type (see table to the right)
  • shape of the function

In principle, there are two types of stage-damage curves imaginable:

  • damage curves based on actual damage costs

 The development of residential synthetic cost stage-damage curves needs the following steps:

  • Representative classes of houses are selected in the area, usually based on building size.
  • A sample of houses is selected in dwelling class. For each room the contents are checked, values are noted or the height above floor level. Preferably, a qualified quantity surveyor or value should undertake this step.
  • Values are averaged across each sample for each class of house and stage-damage curves are constructed.  

The damage function based on synthetic cost method describes potential damage, not actual damage. It also can be used for constructing actual cost stage-damage curves soon after a flood.

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