When buildings suffer damage or destruction, the recovery and restoration process is often slow and, in some cases, seemingly insurmountable. This presentation introduces an effective methodology for expediting the assessment of existing structures post-disaster by leveraging digital technology. Drawing on the case study of the Beirut, Lebanon Blast, the talk outlines the successful implementation of 3D image-based modeling and highlights its timely advantages in the context of disaster recovery and decision-making in similar emergencies. This approach facilitates a swifter transition to the recovery phase, underscoring the pivotal role of digital technology in safeguarding our existing buildings in the face of unforeseen disasters.

About the Speaker

Joe Kallas, Architect and Cultural Heritage Specialist, UNESCO

Joe Kallas is an architect and cultural heritage specialist currently working with UNESCO. A Ph.D. candidate at Penn State University, his research focuses on combining AI and machine learning with 3D point clouds to expedite the structural assessment of historic buildings for enhanced disaster reconnaissance missions. He conducts feature importance analysis to identify attributes in unreinforced masonry buildings that increase vulnerability to blast loads, assisting engineers and heritage preservation experts in data-informed retrofits to bolster resilience against future disasters.

Photo copyright: Rami Rizk

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