Screenshot from the Integrated Rapid Visual Screening for Buildings tool

Integrated Rapid Visual Screening for Buildings

This downloadable software package from the Department of Homeland Security helps users compile a preliminary assessment of the relative risk and resilience of 15 types of buildings to 20 hazardous events, including natural hazards such as floods and wind.

Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) for Buildings is a software-facilitated procedure for assessing the risk to buildings from natural and human-caused hazards that have the potential to cause catastrophic losses. Using the tool requires dowloading and installing software on a computer or tablet running the Windows® operating system.

Completing the IRVS procedure results in a preliminary risk assessment rating for the facility of interest. Risk is determined by evaluating key building characteristics for consequences, threats, and vulnerabilities. The procedure is intended to be used to identify the level of risk for a single building, to identify the relative risk among buildings in a community or region, and to set priorities for further risk management activities. Information from the visual inspection can be used to support higher-level assessments and mitigation options by experts.

The IRVS for Buildings categorizes 15 building types and addresses 20 hazardous events: internal (intrusion, blast, and chemical, biological, and radiological releases—or CBR); external blast and external CBR releases from 100, 300, and 1,000 feet; earthquakes (ground shaking and ground failure); floods (still water and velocity surge); wind (hurricane, tornado, and other wind events); landslide (rainfall and earthquakes); and fire (resulting from earthquakes, blast, or arson). The knowledge for calculating both risk and resilience is embedded in the tool. Major tool interactions are automatically calculated by pre-assigned weights, interaction logic, and context-based algorithms based on knowledge and tool validations. Risk is based primarily in target attractiveness (for man-made hazards).

For natural hazards, the tool uses probability of occurrence to calculate risk. Risk is a product of consequences multiplied by threats multiplied by vulnerabilities. Resilience is computed from a combination of robustness, resourcefulness, and recovery factors based on information such as hardening, training, and redundancies. Information obtained from the IRVS analysis can be used by law enforcement agencies, emergency managers, facility managers, engineers, and architects to support higher-level assessments and mitigation measures.

The IRVS family of tools includes integrated capabilities for assessing mass transit, tunnels, and buildings in one software package. This facilitates data collection and functions as an effective data management tool. Assessors can use the software on a PC tablet or laptop to systematically collect, store, and report screening data.

Last modified
2 August 2019 - 4:13pm