Developing Next-Generation of Seismic Design Maps Topic of Next BSSC Webinar

Jun 4, 2015 -- Dial in to weigh in on the next generation of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hazard and engineering design value maps. The National Institute of Building Sciences Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) are in the formative stages of Project 17, the project related to updating the seismic design maps to be included in the next edition of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program’s (NEHRP) NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures, a resource for improving the national model building codes and design standards.. Under the sponsorship of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the BSSC Project 17 Planning Committee—the group that coordinates among the structural and seismological engineers, the seismic community and the USGS scientists developing the maps—will be hosting a series of free webinars so everyone can have a say on the science and needs for the next round. The first webinar, “Introduction to Project 17: Development of Next-Generation Seismic Design Maps,” will be held Thursday, June 25, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT.

The Project 17 Planning Committee Chair Ronald O. Hamburger, SE will present this first one-hour webinar as an open-forum discussion. This introductory webinar will provide an overview of the process used to develop the seismic design hazard maps; the basis for the present maps: and key issues currently being considered by the committee. (This webinar will be followed, at a later date, by more detailed technical presentations of the individual issues and solicitation of public feedback.) Engineers, earth scientists, community planners and others interested in the seismic requirements of the building codes can obtain an overview of this process.

During the June 25 webinar, Hamburger will discuss a key element of these design procedures—the adoption of a series of national seismic hazard maps that USGS developed specifically for this purpose. Approximately once every ten years, BSSC and USGS undertake a holistic review of the basis for the maps to determine if adjustment is needed. Two decades ago, the shift from 10%-50 year to 2%-50 year design hazards occurred under such an effort, known as Project 97. Ten years ago, Project 07 resulted in a shift from 2%-50 year uniform hazard maps, to 1%-50 year uniform collapse risk maps, as well as the adoption of maximum direction ground motions.

A senior principal with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., in San Francisco, Hamburger has more than 40 years of experience in design, rehabilitation and investigation of structures for the effects of earthquakes and other extreme loads. A member of BSSC’s Provisions Update Committee (PUC) since 1995, he chaired PUC from 2003-2009. He has served on the ASCE 7 Seismic Task Committee since 1996; was a member of the Load Combinations Task Committee from 2006-2010; chaired the General Requirements Task Committee (2006-2010); and presently chairs the Main Committee. He participated in both Project 97 and Project 07; chairs the BSSC Project 17 Formation Committee; and is currently engaged in developing a work plan for Project 17.

BSSC develops the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures for FEMA. The seismic design requirements in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard, ASCE/SEI-7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, are based on the NEHRP Recommended Provisions.

The webinar, “Introduction to Project 17: Development of Next-Generation Seismic Design Maps” is free to attend. However, advanced registration is required and only the first 125 participants will be admitted. Space is limited, so don’t wait. Register today!

Interested in other webinars related to the NEHRP Provisions? Check out the list of upcoming events.


About the National Institute of Building Sciences

The National Institute of Building Sciences, authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

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