Thursday, July 23, 2015

Seismic Certification and Building Codes

Building code standards for seismic certification are being more broadly applied than before. They require that critical mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment must endure higher ground acceleration levels, or risk being red tagged during inspection, or worse. IBC editions from the year 2000 forward demand that critical equipment such as on-site power systems that power life safety and critical branches may need to withstand higher ground acceleration levels throughout the USA.

Every three years, the IBC revises its seismic provision to include new information and capitalize on new technologies. It is important for state and local governments to be sure the latest seismic standards are part of their codes. All states have adopted an earlier or current version of the IBC, which in that state is the prevailing code. Typically, it takes time for authorities having jurisdiction and engineering professionals to become fluent with them.

Nevertheless, many earthquake prone communities in the United States do not have up-to-date building codes with seismic provisions. In general, structures that comply with seismic standards should withstand minor seismic events undamaged, moderate events without  significant structural damage, and severe events without collapse. This is especially critical for installations in states, such as Idaho, Nevada, Washington, and Colorado, which can experience frequent and sometimes intense seismic activity.

No comments:

Post a Comment