A pre-earthquake inspection of the public buildings of Greece begins immediately, as next week it is expected, according to sources of the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, that relevant legislation will be filed. Public buildings are the focus of the checks, while priority will be given to schools and hospitals, which are estimated to amount to 20,000 buildings. The primary audit will be mandatory and then, if required, a secondary audit will also be carried out. When pre-seismic testing of schools and hospitals is completed, testing of other public buildings estimated at 35-45,000 will then take place. The purpose of the pre-seismic inspections, which according to information is estimated to be completed within a horizon of 6 to 8 months, will be the recording and assessment of their seismic risk in order to determine the priorities at the national level in order to take further measures, if required.

The implementation of the action to carry out the primary and secondary pre-earthquake control is to be assigned to the Technical Chamber of Greece, while the Organization for Antiseismic Planning and Protection (OASP) will have the supervision and will assist scientifically in whatever is requested. At the same time, an electronic platform will be created in the OASP where all the checks carried out will be registered. This platform will use the existing database that OASP has for all buildings in the country. As long as the information resulting from the checks is correct and sufficient, it will be immediately registered on the electronic platform. At the same time, the OASP and the TEE will cooperate with the Central Union of Municipalities of Greece (KEDE) to carry out the inspections, while a joint decision of 6 ministries will determine the details regarding the categorization and prioritization of the inspected buildings and the procedure selection and training of engineers in order to make the controls as effective as possible.

“The primary audit will be done within 6-8 months from where we did 20 years to audit 30% of the schools. The TEE will carry out the checks with the supervision and scientific assistance of the OASP, which will also have the database for all the buildings in the country. On the electronic platform that will be created, the controls will be registered electronically, not with tickets that were done in the past. If these data are correct and sufficient, they go directly to the OASP platform, if they are not, they cannot be sent for registration”, says the president of OASP and professor of EKPA, Efthymis Lekkas, to APE-MPE.

According to OASP data, 46% of the existing structures in Greece were built from 1959-1985 with the 1959 anti-seismic regulation, 32% before 1959 without anti-seismic regulation, 13% of the buildings built from 1985 to in 1995 with the anti-seismic regulation of 1959 and the additional articles of 1984/85 while the 9% that have been built from 1995 to date with the new anti-seismic regulation of 1995 and the Greek Anti-Seismic Regulation of 2000.

“In 1959 we had the first decision on earthquake recommendations. All buildings until 1985 which was the first anti-seismic regulation were built with these recommendations issued by NTUA professors, it was a regulatory provision. These buildings are not dangerous but they are buildings that are not as modern as the earthquake regulations of 1985 and 1995. But they were also buildings before 1959. The buildings also have an earthquake resistance because from 1929 onwards (that is, after the earthquakes of 1926) some recommendations of regulations were then given, so they also have some anti-seismic shielding to a certain extent”, explains Mr. Lekkas.

In addition, as Mr. Lekkas emphasizes, the primary control that will be carried out on public buildings will not judge the suitability or unsuitability of a building, but the level of seismic resistance.

“Primary inspection will not say whether a building is suitable or unsuitable but leads to the determination of a level of risks. The buildings will have a designation in terms of the level of seismic resistance. This process of primary and secondary control is a staff process to see what building stock we have, where we are and what operations we need to do each time”, adds Mr. Lekkas to APE-MPE.

It is noted that in Greece the pre-seismic inspection started in 2001 and until today approximately 16,000 primary inspections have been carried out of approximately 80,000 static independent buildings of Public and Non-profit use (20%) and approximately 9,000 inspections of approximately 16,000 school buildings (56%), which is estimated to they exist throughout the territory respectively. The delay is mainly due to the fact that according to the existing legal framework there is no mandatory application.