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Building Science - Earthquake Publications

It is important that communities at risk of earthquakes and tsunamis take proper safety precautions to reduce the risk of life and property when one of these hazards strike. FEMA Building Science provides publications and guidance so that communities can become stronger and better able to withstand the harsh effects of these seismic events. Incorporating FEMA guidance into the development of new and existing buildings will create more resilient buildings that will keep building occupants safe, as well as result in less damages following one of these events.

The Importance of Building Codes in Earthquake-Prone Communities Fact Sheet

There is an often-repeated saying, “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.” Although you can’t control the seismic hazard in the community where you live or work, you can influence the most important factor in saving lives and reducing losses from an earthquake: the adoption and enforcement of up-to-date building codes. Evaluating older buildings and retrofitting structural and non-structural components also are critical steps. To survive and remain resilient, communities should also strengthen their core infrastructure and critical facilities so that these can withstand an earthquake or other disaster and continue to provide essential services.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials (FEMA P-1052) Part 1 of 5

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These updated training and instructional materials supplement the design examples. FEMA P-1052 Part 1 includes Chapters 1–3. FEMA P-1052 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials (FEMA P-1052) Part 5 of 5

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These updated training and instructional materials supplement the design examples. FEMA P-1052 Part 5 includes Chapters 16-18. FEMA P-1052 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials (FEMA P-1052) Part 4 of 5

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These updated training and instructional materials supplement the design examples. FEMA P-1052 Part 4 includes Chapters 13-15. FEMA P-1052 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials (FEMA P-1052) Part 2 of 5

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These updated training and instructional materials supplement the design examples. FEMA P-1052 Part 2 includes Chapters 4-6. FEMA P-1052 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials (FEMA P-1052) Part 3 of 5

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These updated training and instructional materials supplement the design examples. FEMA P-1052 Part 3 includes Chapters 7-12. FEMA P-1052 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples Flow Charts (FEMA P-1051B)

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

These flow charts are part of the design examples. FEMA P-1051 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples (FEMA P-1051)

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

This edition of the design examples reflects the technical changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions. FEMA P-1051 CD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

2015 NEHRP Provisions Volume II: Part 3 Resource Papers (FEMA P-1050-2)

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

Part III contains resource papers covering new concepts and methods for trial use and other supporting materials for design professionals. FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

2015 NEHRP Provisions Volume I: Part 1 Provisions, Part 2 Commentary (FEMA P-1050-1)

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985. FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public. The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline.

Part I of the 2015 NEHRP Provisions includes recommended new changes and modifications to the adopted ASCE/SEI 7-10. Part II provides a full commentary for Part I, consisting of new commentaries integrated with the ASCE/SEI 7-10 commentary.

FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) Fact Sheet

The National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) is FEMA’s program for delivering earthquake education and awareness training to the public. NETAP helps State, local, and Indian tribal governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector obtain the knowledge and tools needed to plan and implement effective earthquake mitigation strategies.

Earthquake-Resistant Design Concepts: An Introduction to the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures FEMA P-749

One of the goals of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is to encourage design and construction practices that address the earthquake hazard and minimize the resulting risk to life and property. The publication of FEMA P-749, a companion guide to the 2009 edition of the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures (FEMA P-750), reaffirms FEMA’s ongoing commitment to achieving this goal. Understanding the basis for the seismic regulations in the nation’s building codes and standards is important to those outside the technical community including elected officials, decision-makers in the insurance and financial communities, and individual building or business owners and other concerned citizens. This document is intended to provide these interested individuals with a readily understandable explanation of the intent and requirements of seismic design in general and the Provisions in particular.

FEMA P-749 is available in a print publication for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520.

Earthquake-Resistant Design Concepts: An Introduction to the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures FEMA P-749 Text Only Text Only

One of the goals of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is to encourage design and construction practices that address the earthquake hazard and minimize the resulting risk to life and property. The publication of FEMA P-749, a companion guide to the 2009 edition of the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures (FEMA P-750), reaffirms FEMA’s ongoing commitment to achieving this goal. Understanding the basis for the seismic regulations in the nation’s building codes and standards is important to those outside the technical community including elected officials, decision-makers in the insurance and financial communities, and individual building or business owners and other concerned citizens. This document is intended to provide these interested individuals with a readily understandable explanation of the intent and requirements of seismic design in general and the Provisions in particular.

2015 NEHRP Provisions Volume 1: Part 1 Provisions, Part 2 Commentary (FEMA P-1050-1)

Part I of the 2015 NEHRP Provisions includes recommended new changes and modifications to the adopted ASCE/SEI 7-10. Part II provides a full commentary for Part I, consisting of new commentaries integrated with the ASCE/SEI 7-10 commentary.

FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

2015 NEHRP Provisions Volume II: Part 3 Resource Papers (FEMA P-1050-2)

Part III contains resource papers covering new concepts and methods for trial use and other supporting materials for design professionals. FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

2015 NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples (FEMA P-1051)

Part III contains resource papers covering new concepts and methods for trial use and other supporting materials for design professionals. FEMA P-1050 DVD is available for order from the FEMA Distribution Center, 1-800-480-2520. The DVD includes additional design standard and building code-related resources.

NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures. 2009 Edition P-750

The 2009 edition of the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions is the seventh update since the first publication in 1985. This new edition adopts ASCE/SEI 7-05 by reference, which allows the Provisions to resume its role as the resource for introducing new knowledge, innovative concepts, and design methods to improve the national seismic standards and codes. The Provisions are presented in a new one-volume format with three parts. Part 1 adopts ASCE/SEI 7-05 by reference and presents consensus approved modifications to the reference standard. Part 2 provides a completely rewritten commentary that explains how to design using the reference standard. Part 3 comprises a series of resource papers that focus on emerging seismic design concepts and methods for exposure to and trial use by the design community and on issues that have proven historically difficult or complex to adequately codify. FEMA P-750 CD contains the Provisions, design maps, and other supporting materials.

Techniques for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings P-547

This seismic rehabilitation techniques document is part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) family of publications addressing seismic rehabilitation of existing buildings. It describes common seismic rehabilitation techniques used for buildings represented in the set of standard building types in FEMA seismic publications. This document supersedes FEMA 172, NEHRP Handbook of Techniques for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings, which was published in 1992. Since then, many rehabilitation techniques have been developed and used for repair and rehabilitation of earthquake-damaged and seismically deficient buildings.

Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage—A Practical Guide (FEMA E-74)

The purpose of this version of FEMA 74, FEMA E-74 Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage—A Practical Guide, Fourth Edition, is the same as for the original: to explain the sources of nonstructural earthquake damage in simple terms and to provide methods for reducing potential risks. Since nonstructural failures have accounted for the majority of earthquake damage in several recent U.S. earthquakes, it is critical to raise awareness of potential nonstructural risks, the costly consequences of nonstructural failures, and the opportunities that exist to limit future losses.

This fourth edition of the FEMA 74 document (renamed FEMA E-74) explains the sources of earthquake damage that can occur in nonstructural components and provides information on effective methods for reducing risk associated with nonstructural earthquake damage.

Earthquake Strengthening of Cripple Walls in Wood-Frame Dwellings (FEMA P-1024-RA2)

On August 24, 2014, a magnitude-6.0 earthquake occurred in Napa, California. In response to this earthquake, the Special Projects task of the National Earthquake Technical Assistance Program (NETAP) was used to fund an investigation. At the time, this event had not yet been declared a federal disaster, and disaster funds were therefore not available. Because of limitations to this funding, some issues, such as performance of lifelines or building investigations in additional areas, could not be investigated. Past earthquakes in California have resulted in significant improvements to national and local building codes. For the 2014 South Napa earthquake, work was focused on documenting the observed performance of buildings and nonstructural components in order to lead into future improvements in future building codes, and to do so within six months.

Recovery Advisory 2 (RA2) is Appendix B of the FEMA P-1024 report. RA2 addresses measures to mitigate cripple wall vulnerabilities before an earthquake occurs and provides information on how and when to use the accompanying FEMA Plan Set.

Last updated February 22, 2021