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A Step Forward FEMA p-2191

The NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures serves as the starting point for updates to U.S. seismic code provisions. The recommendations are reviewed, codified, and incorporated into standards language in the ASCE/SEI 7 standard Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures. ASCE/SEI 7 is referenced by the International Building Code (IBC), and the IBC in turn is used as the model code for the building codes adopted by state and local jurisdictions in the U.S. FEMA contracts with the National Institute of Building Sciences and its Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) to prepare the NEHRP Provisions. The technical provisions and updates are developed by the Provisions Update Committee (PUC) of the BSSC.

At the end of the 2020 NEHRP Provisions cycle, the PUC prepared a set of recommendations on issues to be addressed moving forward. A key recommendation was to study ways to improve the seismic code development process to better serve the engineering community. In 2021, FEMA engaged BSSC to convene a carefully selected Task Group made up of a diverse set of knowledgeable seismic code specialists and advisors to carry out the effort. This report documents the study findings, conclusions, and recommendations. 
Report Purpose: The purpose of this report is to (1) identify ways to improve U.S. seismic code and standard development for new buildings, (2) identify areas where improved content and ease of use would be beneficial, and (3) identify how to better disseminate seismic code updates and to provide education about the code to practicing engineers and building officials.

Target Audience: There are three target audiences for this report: (1) BSSC and PUC leadership to provide near term advice in planning for their upcoming 2026 NEHRP Provisions cycle that runs from 2022-2026, (2) ASCE 7 Seismic Subcommittee leadership to provide advice in planning for the upcoming ASCE/SEI 7-28 update cycle that runs from 2022-2028, and (3) NEHRP agencies (FEMA, NIST, USGS, and NSF) and other relevant stakeholders such as the International Code Council (ICC) and material standard organizations to provide broader advice on seismic code development, content, and education.


Pages: 144
File Size: 25.6 MB

A Step Forward FEMA p-2191