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GEM - Safehub collaboration to monitor earthquake risk of buildings


Mar 18, 2019

John Schneider with Safehub staff (L to R): John Daniello, Alex Mead, Alessio Vallero, Andy Thompson (Safehub CEO) John Schneider, Doug Frazier (Safehub Co-Founder/Chairman) and Clement Barthes.

On February 7th in San Francisco, GEM Secretary General John Schneider and Andy Thompson, Safehub CEO and Co-Founder signed an agreement to model the vulnerability of buildings directly from motion sensors installed in buildings. Safehub is developing and implementing low-cost sensors to monitor building vibrations and the response of buildings to earthquake shaking.


The purpose of the project is to demonstrate how the inclusion of sensor data at building and portfolio levels can be used to reduce the uncertainty in estimating building vulnerability, and to use this information to improve model predictions of damage from earthquakes. In turn, the information from sensors and improved vulnerability estimates will be useful to building owners and risk managers for risk transfer and planning purposes (e.g., insurance) or post-earthquake response, including evacuation. The project, which will run to the end of 2019, will be led for GEM by Vitor Silva, GEM Risk Team Leader.


Andy Thompson, a former member of the GEM Governing Board (representing Arup), and who was a panelist representing future GEM directions at the release of the global maps last December 2018, said “GEM is an ideal partner for Safehub, not just because of the science-based, flexible and open way in which it operates, but also because it has brought together a community of people that think across a broad spectrum of risk.”


He added that Safehub’s technology, a physics-based approach to risk analysis is completely compatible with GEM’s OpenQuake Engine.


Safehub provides structural health monitoring for all buildings, connecting real-time building-specific data to portfolio risk analysis. For more information on Safehub, visit their website at

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