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Revista Geográfica de América Central

On-line version ISSN 2215-2563Print version ISSN 1011-484X


BLANCO-SAENZ, Silvia  and  ESQUIVEL-SALAS, Luis Carlos. Estimation of the construction period of the buildings (construction period) in the canton of San José by analysis of aerial photographs. Rev. Geog. Amer. Central [online]. 2021, n.67, pp.61-82. ISSN 2215-2563.

The construction period is a very important characteristic of buildings, since it allows, among various applications, to determine, in a general way, their performance or behavior in the event of seismic activity. Construction period data is generally difficult to obtain for large groups of structures, as is the case in the canton of San José. A study is thus presented in which the approximate date of construction was estimated for the 84,004 buildings present in the canton of San José by visual non-automated analysis of aerial photographs available from the Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN) (translated as National Geographic Institute) of Costa Rica. Construction period data can be used for various purposes including risk assessments of natural hazards. The value and usefulness of the present investigation is exposed in the context of the risk assessment evaluation on physical damage caused by seismic activity in the canton of San José undertaken by the Laboratorio de Ingeniería Sísmica del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ingeniería de la Universidad de Costa Rica (translated as Seismic Engineering Laboratory of the Engineering Research Institute of the University of Costa Rica). In absolute terms, it was found that the majority of structures were built in the period 1989-2004 and amounted to a total of 18,399 buildings; the highest average annual construction rate was 2,675/yr for the period 1974-1979. 38% of the buildings were built prior to the existence of the Costa Rican Seismic Code (CSCR), 60% of the buildings adhered to CSCR Codes in its past versions of 1974 and 1986, while only 2% complied with the newer versions of 2002 and 2010.

Keywords : Construction period; Aerial photographs; Canton of San José; Buildings..

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