3.3 Damage assessment

A housing damage assessment will provide information on the types of housing damage and the technical skills required in reconstruction; it should help identify the most common housing typologies and building techniques and investigate major causes of failure for those building categories. This type of household level survey may also provide information on the local building skills available and training needs (this can be complemented by a rapid market analysis including the availability of labour and construction materials.

If damage assessment is to determine the safety of a building, then specialist technical input is essential.  A more in depth damage assessment will entail house inspections with an experienced technical team (construction or engineering background  essential) in charge of taking all necessary measures, sketches and photos for each of the housing units assessed to then prepare the Bill of Quantities (BOQs) . The technical assessment team must be sufficiently trained and tested on the use of the survey form and equipment to ensure consistent data across surveyors.

For a detailed methodology for a housing damage assessment see: Safer Homes, Stronger Communities Handbook (Chapter 4: Assessment – Annex 2, How to Do It: Assessing Post-Disaster Housing Damage).