ASCE/SEI’s 7-16 publication, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures, was published last year and contains some new seismic design standards. According to an analysis by one group of industry professionals at GeoEngineers, the changes may result in increased seismic demand on buildings in seismically active areas and use of site response analysis or ground motion hazard analysis approaches permitted by the code may become the norm. That means more work for geotechnical/geological consultants specializing in this work and higher design costs for owners. The increased project cost will likely be offset by savings from the reduced seismic demand from a more realistic site-specific model.
There’s no getting around dealing with these new code requirements. Standard ASCE/SEI 7 is adopted by reference into the International Building Code, the International Existing Building Code, the International Residential Code, and the NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code. So if you are working on a building, chances are these new seismic design requirements are applicable. Leave a comment below with your experience and analysis.