Arup joins global initiative to increase earthquake resilience
Arup brings global site-specific engineering expertise to the Global
Earthquake Model (GEM)
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 25, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arup, multidisciplinary
engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative
and sustainable designs, announced today that it has become one of the first
engineering firms to join a global initiative dedicated to mitigating and
raising awareness of earthquake risk around the world. The firm has signed up
as a partner with GEM – the Global Earthquake Model group. Arup's
world-leading team of earthquake engineers is committed to supporting GEM for
five years as part of this agreement.
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The GEM initiative involves high-level collaboration between national
government bodies, international aid organisations, academia, global finance
and insurance groups, as well as vulnerable communities living in earthquake
zones around the globe.
The group is working together to develop transparent tools to better quantify
earthquake risk that will not only save lives, but also help build financial
resilience in advance of disasters. Creating the tools required to more
accurately quantify earthquake risk and the benefits of mitigation lies at the
heart of the project, according to Arup's global lead for catastrophe risk
management, Andy Thompson.
"By combining our global engineering expertise with the seismological and
financial aspects of the model, we will help quantify the benefits of risk
mitigation, help create financial incentives for earthquake resiliency, and
thus save lives and protect communities," Thompson said.
Dr. Rui Pinho, Secretary-General of GEM, said, "It is great to count on a new
partner such as Arup. GEM success relies on the contribution of a global
community working across disciplines and geographies. Arup can be a key
resource for this community, bringing in global engineering expertise and a
fresh perspective to the big challenges we face on modelling and impact
assessment. Their experience and their global outreach will be invaluable in
helping governments, civil society and the private sector to manage risks and
guard against the worst outcomes."
Claudio Boettcher, Global Head of Property and Business Interruption at Zurich
Insurance Group, agreed, "So far the GEM community has primarily comprised
public sponsors and those from the insurance industry like Zurich Insurance
Group. Having an engineering company joining is further recognition of the
value of the GEM initiative, which is widening its sponsorship community and
giving GEM a broader foundation in actual application and use of combined
efforts to serve communities impacted by earthquakes."
Louis Gritzo, Vice President and research manager at FM Global, one of the
world's largest business property insurers, added, "At FM Global, we have been
an engineering-driven property insurer for 178 years and it is evident how
Arup's structural and geotechnical engineering expertise can add value to
Zurich and FM Global are joined by other insurance and reinsurance
organizations including Munich Re, Hannover Re, Renaissance Re, and others.
GEM also has the support and backing of international bodies such as the OECD,
the World Bank, UNESCO, and the IAEE. Other partners include national
institutions from across the world, including the United States, Chile,
Venezuela, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.
GEM is a global collaborative effort with the aim to provide organisations and
people with tools and resources for transparent assessment of earthquake risk
anywhere in the world. By pooling data, knowledge and people, GEM acts as an
international forum for collaboration and exchange, and leverages the
knowledge of leading experts for the benefit of society.
Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world's most prominent
projects in the built environment and across industry. Its engineers and
consultants deliver innovative projects across the world. Arup opened its
first US office 25 years ago, and now employs 1,000 in the Americas. The firm
was founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values that fosters a distinctive
culture, intellectual independence and collaborative approach. The people at
Arup are driven to find a better way to deliver better solutions for their
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