FEMA E-74 Chapter 3. Survey & Assessment Procedures for Existing Buildings

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Chapter 3. Survey and Assessment Procedures for Existing Buildings

The first step toward reducing the nonstructural hazards in an existing building is to perform a survey to assess the extent and magnitude of the potential risks. This chapter includes survey guidelines for nonstructural components and describes the inventory form, the checklist, and the risk ratings that are included in the appendices. In order to make informed decisions regarding nonstructural seismic risks, owners and managers will need to address the following questions:

  • What types of nonstructural components are present in a particular facility?
  • Are these items adequately braced or anchored?
  • How will a specific nonstructural item perform in an earthquake, and what are the consequences of failure of that item in terms of life safety, property loss, and functional loss?
  • If the decision is made to upgrade a facility, which problems should be addressed first?

The focus of this guide is on reducing nonstructural seismic hazards, particularly in those areas where the seismic shaking intensity is expected to be moderate or high and where significant structural hazards do not exist or will be addressed independently. A simplified map of probable shaking intensities is presented in Figure 3.2.1-1. If the expected shaking for the facility in question is minimal, then the survey procedures and seismic protection measures described in this guide might be undertaken on a voluntary basis but may not be necessary, and in most cases they would not be required for new construction.

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Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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