Emergency Regulations and the New Building Code

by Emilio Rosenblueth, Univ Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: The Mexico Earthquakes—1985: Factors Involved and Lessons Learned


The 1942 Federal District Building Code was crude and overoptimistic. The 1957 earthquake prompted the drafting of emergency regulations, modern and more realistic. They evolved into the 1966 and 1976 Codes. The latter had an ultimate strength format with explicit recognition of ductility, specified dynamic and static analyses and contained many innovations. Effects of the 19 September 1985 earthquake indicated that the code was insufficiently explicit in some respects and insufficiently conservative in others. The ensuing emergency regulations corrected conspicuous deficiencies, particularly concerning the high amplification on soft ground and the reduction in effective ductility in some failure modes, due to the motion's exceptional duration. A new code is due in October 1986. Research in progress is described which will serve as basis for the new code. Of special interest is knowledge acquired about tectonics, seismicity, local soil effects, soil-structure interaction and nonlinear structural behavior.

Subject Headings: Emergency management | Building codes | Ductility | Soil properties | Earthquake resistant structures | Foundation design | Seismic design | Load and resistance factor design | Mexico

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