+Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Action Plan for Performance-Based Seismic Design (FEMA-349) (April 2000) (PDF — 4.5M)
"One of the primary goals of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the prevention, or mitigation, of this country's losses from natural hazards. To achieve this goal, we as a nation need to ask what level of performance do we expect from our buildings during an event such as an earthquake. In order to answer this question, FEMA is exploring the possible development of "performance-based seismic design" criteria. Such criteria could be voluntarily used by this nation's engineers and designers to improve the performance of critical classes of buildings that are currently only designed to a "lifesafety" level to avoid collapse, but would infact probably still suffer significant damage in a design event.
"FEMA contracted with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) (contract number EMW-92-K-3955, Task 13) to solicit the input of the nation's leading seismic professionals in developing an action plan that could be used to develop performance- based seismic design criteria. This project and the resulting action plan have gone a long way in identifying key issues that will need to be addressed in this process.
"This action plan builds upon a similar effort that FEMA funded in 1993 with the Earthquake Engineering Research Center, now the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER). The end product of that study was a similar plan, "Performance Based Seismic Design of Buildings" (FEMA-283), published by FEMA in September 1996. The material in that plan had an emphasis on the research that would be required, and has in fact been used by PEER inthe last several years as the basis for their research work inthis arena. While this action plan does an excellent job of describing the requirements that would be needed to successfully develop performance based seismic design criteria, FEMA does has some concerns, such as the proposed budget, which exceeds what FEMA is capable of devoting within the recomended time frame. FEMA is planning to identify some of the key elements of the plan and to begin to address them through a series of projects under its Problem Focused Studies program. However, without additional specific funding for this plan, it will be very difficult to accomplish the entire plan. To avoid further delay, FEMA has decided to publish this document as a "final draft for informational purposes only. Publication of this document in no way obligates this or any other Federal agency to any portion of plan contained herein. The information and opinions contained in this document are solely those of EERI and the project participants and do not necessarily represent the views of FEMA.
"In closing, FEMA sincerely wishes to express its, gratitude to all who were involved in this project. The results of their hard work will play an important role as this country moves forward towards performance-based seismic design and reducing the losses suffered by this nation's citizens after the next earthquake."—Foreward.