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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Mitigate the Effects of Earthquakes: Other Business Tools

The following document provides a list of tools to help businesses plan, prepare, and mitigate the effects of earthquakes. Each section includes a short description of the organization that created it as well as a link that will take you to the respective page of each resource. Some of the materials listed are not specifically for businesses, but could still be found useful by the private sector in that they promote earthquake preparedness and mitigation in homes and therefore increase a community’s disaster resilience and ability to recover quickly after a disaster. The quicker the recovery period within a community, the faster businesses will be fully functional and operating. This list is not intended to be all inclusive, rather a collection of the tools created by FEMA and its partners.

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FEMA 369, NEHRP 2000 Commentary for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings and Other Structures Updated Version Available

The Commentary provides general requirements, background information, and explanations for applying the analysis and design criteria in FEMA 368, similar to what might be incorporated in a code as administrative regulations.

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

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.

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FEMA 439B, Blast-Resistant Benefits of Seismic Design, Phase 2 Study: Performance Analysis of Structural Steel Strengthening Systems

This is one in a series of publications that were developed in response to September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the subsequent events that led to the formation of DHS and an increased emphasis on preparedness and mitigation of terrorism-related hazards. One issue that FEMA began shortly after that was to examine whether lessons learned in response to natural hazards could be effectively applied to protect building occupants from human threats. Important similarities between seismic and blast loadings lend themselves to such examination.

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FEMA P-751, 2009 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions: Design Examples

This publication provides a series of design examples using the 2009 edition of the NEHRP Recommended Provisions (FEMA P-750) for different types of construction materials and building configurations. These design examples demonstrate the design procedures used in the NEHRP Recommended Provisions, which serve as the basis for the nation's building codes, and make an excellent instructional tool.

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FEMA P-807, Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings With Weak First Stories

Multi-unit wood-frame buildings with a weak first story represent a significant risk in highly seismic regions of the United States because of their high potential for collapse. This collapse potential is due primarily to their soft or weak first-story walls, which have often been weakened by large numbers of openings such as garages or store front windows. FEMA P-807 addresses seismic retrofitting of weak-story wood-frame buildings in seismically active regions of the United States, with a focus on multi-family, multi-story buildings with weak first stories, and apartment buildings with tuck-under parking. These seismic retrofitting guidelines are the first to focus solely on the weak first story and to provide just enough additional strength to protect the first floor from collapse but not so much as to drive earthquake forces into the upper stories, placing them at risk of collapse. They are also the first to take into account the strength provided by existing non-structural walls, making seismic retrofitting more affordable. An electronic tool was developed as part of the project to help apply the rules and perform the calculations described in the report. The Weak Story Tool (WST) is available for download as a zip file. Note that the report contains all the data, formulas, and procedural background needed to apply the method without using the WST.

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FEMA L-783, Building Science for Disaster-Resistant Communities: Seismic Hazard Publications (2011)

This brochure provides readers with a quick summary of publications that will help them prepare for and mitigate against seismic hazards. The Building Science Branch develops and produces technical guidance and tools focused on fostering a disaster-resistant built environment. Located within FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration’s (FIMA’s) Risk Reduction Division, the Building Science Branch supports the directorate’s mission to reduce risk to life and property by providing state-of-the-art technical hazard mitigation solutions for buildings.

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Fiscal Year 2011 Earthquake Technology Transfer (EERI) Guidance and Application Kit

FEMA proposes to enter into a Cooperative Agreement for an estimated $355,000 with one (1) national, non-profit technical earthquake society (architects, engineers, planners, public officials, social scientists) composed of a membership from practicing professionals, educators, government officials, and building code regulators. Completed applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM Eastern, September 8, 2011.

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Fiscal Year 2011 Earthquake Consortia (CUSEC, WSSPC, and NESEC) Guidance and Application Kit

FEMA proposes to enter into a Cooperative Agreement for an estimated $850,000 with three Earthquake Consortia for the purposes of supporting nonprofit organizations which: deliver education and training to community and State officials; develop seismic policies and share information to promote programs intended to reduce earthquake-related losses; and reduce the loss of life, injuries, property losses, and social and economic disruption that results from all hazards. Completed applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM Eastern, August 17, 2011.

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FEMA P-795, Quantification of Building Seismic Performance Factors: Component Equivalency Methodology

This publication builds upon an earlier FEMA publication, FEMA P-695 - Quantification of Building Seismic Performance Factors (FEMA, 2009b). While the methodology contained in FEMA P-695 provides a means to evaluate complete seismic-force-resisting systems proposed for adoption into building codes, a component-based methodology was needed to reliably evaluate structural elements, connections, or subassemblies proposed as substitutes for equivalent components in established seismic-force-resisting systems. The Component Equivalency Methodology presented in this document fills this need by maintaining consistency with the probabilistic, system-based collapse assessment concepts of FEMA P-695 while providing simple procedures for comparing the tested performance of different components. It is intended to be of assistance to organizations, such as the International Code Council Evaluation Service, who need to compare the seismic performance of alternate components to those contained in established seismic force resisting system.