Groningen gas field is the largest on-land gas resource in the world and is being
exploited since 1963. There are damaging earthquakes, the largest of which was 3.6 magnitude. The recursive induced earthquakes are often blamed for triggering the structural damages in thousands of houses in the area. A damage claim procedure takes place after each significantly felt earthquake. The liability of the exploiting company is related to the damages and the engineering firms and experts are asked to correlate the claimed damages with a past earthquake. Structures in the region present high vulnerabilities to the lateral forces, soil
properties are quite unfavourable for seismic resistance, and structural damages are present even without earthquakes. This situation creates a dispute area where one can claim that most structures in the region were already damaged because of the fact that the soil is soft, the ground water table oscillates, and structures are vulnerable to external conditions anyhow and deteriorate in time, which can be the main cause of such structural damages. This ambiguity of damage vs earthquake correlation is one of the main sources of the public unrest in the area up until today. This study presents the perspective of people in the region in terms of liveability and the social acceptance of earthquakes in their lives. An attempt has been made to translate these social effects and expectations into structural performance metrics for ordinary houses in the region. A new seismic design and assessment approach, called Comfort Level Earthquake (CLE) has been proposed.