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Next-Generation Performance-Based Seismic Design Guidelines - Program Plan for New and Existing Buildings (FEMA 445 / August 2006)

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One of the primary goals of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is prevention or mitigation of this country's losses from hazards that affect the built environment. To achieve this goal, we as a nation must determine what level of performance is expected from our buildings during a severe event, such as an earthquake, blast, or One of the primary goals of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is prevention or mitigation of this country's losses from hazards that affect the built environment. To achieve this goal, we as a nation must determine what level of performance is expected from our buildings during a severe event, such as an earthquake, blast, or hurricane. To do this, FEMA contracted with the Applied Technology Council (ATC) to develop next-generation performance-based seismic design procedures and guidelines, which would allow engineers and designers to better work with stakeholders in identifying the probable seismic performance of new and existing buildings. These procedures could be voluntarily used to: (1) assess and improve the performance of buildings designed to a building code "life safety" level, which would, in all likelihood, still suffer significant structural and nonstructural damage in a severe event; and (2) more effectively meet the performance targets of current building codes by providing verifiable alternatives to current prescriptive code requirements for new buildings. Advancement of present-generation performance-based seismic design procedures is widely recognized in the earthquake engineering community as an essential next step in the nation's drive to develop resilient, loss-resistant communities. This Program Plan offers a step-by-step, task-oriented program that will develop next-generation performance-based seismic design procedures and guidelines for structural and nonstructural components in new and existing buildings. This FEMA 445 Program Plan is a refinement and extension of two earlier FEMA plans: FEMA 283 Performance-Based Seismic Design of Buildings - an Action Plan, which was prepared by the Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California at Berkeley in 1996, and FEMA 349 Action Plan for Performance Based Seismic Design, which was prepared by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in 2000. The state of practice for performance-based assessment, performance-based design of new buildings, and performance-based upgrades of existing buildings will all be significantly advanced under this Program Plan. The preparation of this Program Plan, and developmental work completed to date, has been performed by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) under the ATC-58 project entitled Development of Next-Generation Performance-Based Seismic Design Guidelines for New and Existing Buildings. The technological framework developed under this program is transferable and can be adapted for use in performance-based design for other extreme hazards including fire, wind, flood, and terrorist attack. The decision-making tools and guidelines developed under this Program Plan will greatly improve our ability to develop cost-effective and efficient earthquake loss reduction programs nationwide.


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One of the primary goals of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is prevention or mitigation of this country's losses from hazards that affect the built environment. To achieve this goal, we as a nation must determine what level of performance is expected from our buildings during a severe event, such as an earthquake, blast, or One of the primary goals of the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is prevention or mitigation of this country's losses from hazards that affect the built environment. To achieve this goal, we as a nation must determine what level of performance is expected from our buildings during a severe event, such as an earthquake, blast, or hurricane. To do this, FEMA contracted with the Applied Technology Council (ATC) to develop next-generation performance-based seismic design procedures and guidelines, which would allow engineers and designers to better work with stakeholders in identifying the probable seismic performance of new and existing buildings. These procedures could be voluntarily used to: (1) assess and improve the performance of buildings designed to a building code "life safety" level, which would, in all likelihood, still suffer significant structural and nonstructural damage in a severe event; and (2) more effectively meet the performance targets of current building codes by providing verifiable alternatives to current prescriptive code requirements for new buildings. Advancement of present-generation performance-based seismic design procedures is widely recognized in the earthquake engineering community as an essential next step in the nation's drive to develop resilient, loss-resistant communities. This Program Plan offers a step-by-step, task-oriented program that will develop next-generation performance-based seismic design procedures and guidelines for structural and nonstructural components in new and existing buildings. This FEMA 445 Program Plan is a refinement and extension of two earlier FEMA plans: FEMA 283 Performance-Based Seismic Design of Buildings - an Action Plan, which was prepared by the Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California at Berkeley in 1996, and FEMA 349 Action Plan for Performance Based Seismic Design, which was prepared by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in 2000. The state of practice for performance-based assessment, performance-based design of new buildings, and performance-based upgrades of existing buildings will all be significantly advanced under this Program Plan. The preparation of this Program Plan, and developmental work completed to date, has been performed by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) under the ATC-58 project entitled Development of Next-Generation Performance-Based Seismic Design Guidelines for New and Existing Buildings. The technological framework developed under this program is transferable and can be adapted for use in performance-based design for other extreme hazards including fire, wind, flood, and terrorist attack. The decision-making tools and guidelines developed under this Program Plan will greatly improve our ability to develop cost-effective and efficient earthquake loss reduction programs nationwide.

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