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The figure shows two lines, one representing the cost and reliability of an assessment, and the other representing the level of judgement required, each plotted against the continuum of assessment complexity, from external inspection only to complex structural analysis. The cost-and-reliability line curves upwards with the increase in assessment complexity. The level-of-judgement-required line curves downwards from the low-complexity end of the continuum towards the mid-range of assessment complexity, and then upwards again toward the high-complexity end.

The figure also indicates that a relatively lower level of assessment complexity corresponds to an Initial Seismic Assessment, while a higher level of complexity indicates a Detailed Seismic Assessment. The point is marked on the assessment complexity continuum where the highest level of Initial Seismic Assessment meets the lowest level of Detailed Seismic Assessment. A relatively high-complexity Initial Seismic Assessment is shown to require access to drawings, while a lower-complexity Detailed Seismic Assessment comprises a simple structural analysis.

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