ICC Releases New Seismic Design Manuals

TUESDAY, JULY 21, 2020

The International Code Council has partnered with the Structural Engineers Association of California to release a joint publication of the 2018 IBC SEAOC Structural/Seismic Design Manuals.

The updated series provides a guided approach to apply the provisions of the 2018 International Building Code and reference standards.

“We are excited for the release of the 2018 Structural/Seismic Design Manuals and the guidance they will provide to structural engineers,” said Katy Briggs, SE, SEAOC Project Co-Manager. “In addition to updates to previously published design examples, new design examples have been added throughout the four manuals to address structural engineering challenges.”

According to the ICC, the updated, four-volume series includes:

  • Volume 1: Code Application Examples – includes examples based on the IBC and ASCE 7-16, including determination of seismic irregularities, combinations of structural systems, determination of drift, support of discontinuous systems and analysis of seismic forces applied to equipment, nonstructural elements and nonbuilding structures;
  • Volume 2: Examples for Light-Frame, Tilt-up and Masonry Buildings – includes diaphragm flexibility, center of mass, collectors and chords, deflection and anchorage, which are discussed through examples, and in- and out-of-plane seismic loads are analyzed;
  • Volume 3: Examples for Concrete Buildings – includes analysis of moment frames, braced frames and shear wall construction; and
  • Volume 4: Examples for Steel-Framed Buildings – includes sample structures with steel moment frames or braced frames and steel connections.

Earthquake Provisions

Seismic retrofitting has seen an uptick in recent years. For example, in the fall of 2016, PaintSquare Daily News reported that a bridge this is part of Seattle’s SR99 project would be the first large-scale application of a new set of structural materials that will be “earthquake-proof,” bending and flexing in the event of a quake, then returning to form, as to remain usable.

The structure planned to utilize rebar made of a nickel-titanium shape-memory alloy that returns to its original form after being stressed. This rebar will be used in the top five feet of the columns holding up the deck.

The engineered composite is a product of the research of Dr. Saiid Saiidi, of the University of Nevada, Reno, where, for more than 30 years, the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research has been developing materials and plans to help structures survive seismic activity.

In 2017, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was reported to undergo seismic retrofit. Previously, seismic work on the northern approach, southern approach and the north anchorage house had been completed, leaving the last piece of the decades-long project left for the center suspension segment.

This final phase was estimated to cost between $450 and $500 million. Spokesman Priya Clemens said at the time that they hoped to advertise for the contract later that year.

The following year, a replacement bridge being built south of Los Angeles was slated to be a first for those interested in monitoring seismic activity: Sensors were factored into the design of the span from day one, rather than being added later, which allowed for new data-monitoring opportunities.

The new 8,800-foot-long span over the Port of Long Beach, replacing the Gerald Desmond Bridge, is being constructed with 75 seismic sensors.

What makes the bridge the ideal candidate for using these sensors is its location—the span is just a few miles from two active faults, Newport-Inglewood and Palos Verdes. Data recorded by sensors built into the design will be sent via the state's Integrated Seismic Network to scientists working at state offices in Sacramento, and also sent to the University of California, Berkeley, as well as Pasadena's California Institute of Technology.

On the commercial and residential side, in 2019, Seattle’s National Development Council published its Funding Unreinforced Masonry Retrofits report, which found that vital earthquake safety fixes have been estimated to cost $1.28 billion.

The report involved 944 unreinforced masonry buildings, which house approximately 22,050 people.

At the beginning of this year, several hospitals in California applied for extensions on mandated seismic retrofits that originally were supposed to be completed in 2008.

More than 200 hospitals have been working to upgrade their buildings under the Act’s requirements and, according to California’s Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development, about 41 hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area alone are still under a significant risk of collapse in the event of an earthquake.

Most recently, outside of the United States, New Zealand officials announced that its decommissioned Whirokino Trestle and Manawatu River Bridge in Foxton will be repurposed for University of Auckland-headed research on seismic activity in infrastructure.

The project is being funded by the Earthquake Commission and QuakeCoRE, carried out in cooperation with bridge-owner Waka Kotahi. Demolition sub-contractors will also be working alongside lead contractor Brian Perry Civil—a division of Fletcher—who is ensuring that the deconstruction program will fit with the research team’s scientific requirements.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Building codes; Disasters; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); ICC; International Building Code; Latin America; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Regulations; Z-Continents

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