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September BSSC Webinar Reinforces Designing Building Diaphragms for Earthquakes

The National Institute of Building Sciences Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) will host a webinar Tuesday, September 15, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT, to bolster the importance of new additions to the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program’s (NEHRP) NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures that more accurately address the appropriate design for building diaphragms.

Analytical studies and test results (using a shake table to simulate earthquake loads on structures) indicate that the magnitude of diaphragm forces is significantly larger—and the relative magnitudes of diaphragm forces over the height of a building are more uniform—than those computed using current design provisions in the United States. As a result of an important initiative carried out and proposed by the BSSC Provisions Update Committee’s (PUC) Issue Team 6 (IT-6) – Diaphragms, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions includes this new data, which also has been accepted for inclusion in the next edition of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard, ASCE/SEI-7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, due out in 2016.

PUC Member and IT-6 Chair S. K. Ghosh, PhD, will present the one-hour webinar “Seismic Design of Diaphragms” as an open-forum discussion. IT-6 developed the proposal to address buildings in which response of the vertical elements of the seismic force-resisting system dominates the overall behavior. Dr. Ghosh will discuss the IT-6 design force level proposal in detail, provide the background on the proposal and compare it with the 2010 edition of ASCE during his presentation.

President of the consulting firm S.K. Ghosh Associates, Inc., Dr. Ghosh is well known for his work in earthquake engineering and has influenced seismic design provisions in the United States for many years. Formerly the director of engineering services, codes and standards at the Portland Cement Association, Dr. Ghosh is a fellow of ASCE, SEI, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI). He has served on the Boards of Direction for ACI and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). An active participant on numerous national technical committees over the course of his career, Dr. Ghosh currently serves on the ACI Committee 318 - Structural Concrete Building Code and the ASCE 7 Standards Committee. In addition to authoring many publications in the area of structural design, Dr. Ghosh has investigated and reported on structural performance in most recent earthquakes.

About NIBS

National Institute of Building Sciences brings together labor and consumer interests, government representatives, regulatory agencies, and members of the building industry to identify and resolve problems and potential problems around the construction of housing and commercial buildings. NIBS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization. It was established by Congress in 1974. For more information, visit or follow @bldgsciences on Twitter and Facebook.

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