Building Science Resource Library

The Building Science Resource Library contains all of FEMA’s hazard-specific guidance that focuses on creating hazard-resistant communities.

You can search for a document by its title, or filter the collection to browse by:

  • Topic: High winds, flood, earthquake, etc.
  • Document Type: Brochure, report, fact sheet, infographic, etc.
  • Audience: Building professionals & engineers, individuals & homeowners, teachers & kids, etc.
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FEMA P-2055-1 Guidance for Accelerated Building Reoccupancy Programs

This guide has been prepared as a supplement to Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guidance – Report on the Current State of Practice, including Recommendations Related to Structural and Nonstructural Safety and Habitability (FEMA P-2055). It presents recommnedations and discussion of key issues to inform local building departments officially known as Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) who may wish to implement an Accelerated Building Reoccupancy (ABR) program. The Guide also includes templates that may be useful for setting up a successful program, including:
• An agreement to be signed by the AHJ, building owner, and building safety evaluators establishing the scope and administration of the program
• A consultant agreement to be signed by the building owner and building safety evaluators
Updated file to correct page A-3, Table A-2 (page of the pdf). The second row in white for Culver City should say 2017 for Year of Adoption (instead of 2012).

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NETAP Resource Guide for Earthquake Program Managers

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FEMA P-807-1, Guidance and Recommendations for the Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories

The purpose of Guidance and Recommendations for the Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories (FEMA P-807-1) is to advance the understanding of the behavior of older, multi-unit wood-frame buildings with brittle, weak, and torsionally irregular stories, often designated as soft, weak, or open-front (SWOF) buildings and to encourage improved practice in the design of retrofits. This new report provides technical information about the expected seismic collapse performance of common SWOF building configurations, both in their unretrofitted (or original) and retrofitted conditions. It also presents retrofit design examples. The report is intended to be used by jurisdictions and their consultants to inform decisions regarding ordinance scope and retrofit methods to address this risk from the known earthquake resistance deficiencies in these types of buildings in order to provide additional collapse prevention. The intended audience for this publication includes building officials, practicing civil and structural engineers, and government officials interested in developing mandatory or voluntary seismic retrofit programs for SWOF buildings.
FEMA originally addressed the risk from SWOF buildings by developing and, in May 2012, publishing Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories (FEMA P-807). This guideline introduced a methodology to focus the retrofit on the first story to protect the building from collapse without transmitting excessive additional seismic forces into the upper stories. No change to the FEMA P-807 methodology is deemed necessary based on the work of FEMA P-807-1.

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FEMA P-2055-2 Recommendations for Cordoning Earthquake-Damaged Buildings

This guide relates the observed damage to a building of a given structure type to a potential collapse mode. The report includes damage photos of the various potential collapse modes, and a collapse shadow cordon area is prescribed in accordance with the potential collapse mode in a graphical table. Additionally, FEMA P-2055-2 provides Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and local building departments key considerations for customizing their emergency management practices and procedures for large scale cordon area management gleaned from two damaging earthquakes. planning for the Extreme Cordon Area. This report adds to a series of publications that include Guidance for Accelerated Building Reoccupancy Programs (FEMA P-2055-1) and Post-disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guidance, Report on the Current State of Practice including Recommendations Related to Structural and Nonstructural Safety and Habitability.

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Earthquake Safety Checklist (FEMA B-526)

This quick reference guide helps individuals and families prepare for an earthquake and prevent earthquake-related damage to their homes. The easy-to-read booklet features instructions on conducting earthquake drills and “hazard hunts.” Also included are a checklist of disaster supplies, tips on what to do during and after an earthquake, and additional resources.

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FEMA P-2208: NEHRP Recommended Revisions to ASCE/SEI 41-17 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings

This publication documents the work of a five-year project that that investigated, addressed technical issues and developed guidance which resulted in the submittal of 35 detailed proposed revisions to the official ASCE/SEI 41 consensus standard process of ASCE/SEI 41.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Renters

These frequently asked questions address common concerns of people who rent residential buildings related to building codes, the process, and available tools.

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Checklist to Acquire a Building Permit

This document equips and helps homeowners understand the general process for acquiring a building permit before starting any new construction, addition, repair, renovation, rebuilding, or mitigation work. It should not be used as a substitute for checking with your local building department or for understanding the building codes and regulations in your community.

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Basic Project Planning Template

This document equips property owners with a template that they can use to understand the basic planning elements of a construction project. It includes items that local building departments and design professionals usually require.

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Building Codes Toolkit for Homeowners and Occupants

The FEMA Building Codes Toolkit offers basic guidance and tools to help homeowners and occupants learn about building codes and how they can make a home more resilient against natural hazards.