American Society of Civil Engineers

ASCE 31-03: Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings

by Darrick B. Hom, (Project engineer, Degenkolb Engineers, 300 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, #450, Oakland, CA 94612) and Chris D. Poland, (Chairman, CEO and President, Degenkolb Engineers, 225 Bush Street, #1000, San Francisco, CA 94104)
Section: Restoration and Repair of Existing Structures, pp. 1-9, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Structures 2004: Building on the Past, Securing the Future
Abstract: ASCE 31-03: Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings is the next step in a very successful series of evaluation tools used by structural engineers nationwide to evaluate the seismic adequacy of existing buildings. This document has evolved from the tradition of visiting sites damaged by earthquakes and observing what works and what does not work in structural systems. It also embodies the latest efforts in the development of performance-based analysis techniques and reflects the most recent earthquake hazard demand criteria. This document is the last step in the development of a standard for seismic evaluation of existing buildings applicable across the entire nation. The previous version of this document, FEMA 310: Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Buildings — A Prestandard, was developed jointly by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). ASCE has since taken this document through a consensus process to turn it into a national standard. Major changes to this document include a reorganization of the nonstructural checklists and a rewrite of the unreinforced masonry (URM) special procedure. With the publication of ASCE 31-03, the first national seismic evaluation standard reflecting the most current thinking and applying a consistent methodology to the seismic evaluation of existing buildings is now available to the structural engineering community.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Seismic effects
Standards and codes