New Blue Book Articles from SEAOC

The Seismology Committee published two Blue Book articles this year on the following topics: Seismically Induced Lateral Earth Pressures on Retaining and Basement Walls (Article 09.10.010) and An Evaluation of Current Practices Relating to the Development and Implementation of Acceptance Criteria and Product Evaluation Reports (Article 01.10.010).
The Seismically Induced Lateral Earth Pressures on Retaining and Basement Walls article is focused on the development of the geotechnical behavior on basement and retaining structures as it relates to the structural design. The article discusses the history of basement and retaining wall seismic performance based on the work of Professor Nicholas Sitar from UC Berkeley. For structural engineers unfamiliar with the basis for geotechnical methods relating to walls, this article provides a helpful, technical background.

The purpose of the White Paper entitled An Evaluation of Current Practices Related to the Development and Implementation of Acceptance Criteria and Product Evaluation Reports is to discuss and evaluate the current processes of creation and usage of Acceptance Criteria (AC) and Evaluation Reports (ER), and provide recommendations on how to improve these processes.

The traditional link between a construction product, design and construction for any project is the approval of construction documents by a building official, more formally known as the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). In this process, the AHJ reviews the submitted construction documents, calculations, reports, and any other information required to prove compliance of the design to the governing building code. If a design professional chooses to use a product or system for which the building code does not provide specific criteria or means for compliance, the design professional may choose to submit this product or system as an Alternative Means of Compliance (AMC).  Further, ER also provide a means to streamline product application; the design can be performed and findings, design capacity values, documented in the ER for ease of use by the designer and building official.

The creation and usage of Acceptance Criteria and Evaluation Reports is one way to meet the AMC provisions of the code, and helps to mitigate the difficulties posed by the AMC provision. Using AC, organizations can test a product and issue an ER for use in design. Engineers can then utilize a product with an ER report knowing the criteria to which it was tested, the purpose for which it was intended, and the performance that was demonstrated. Building officials are provided a baseline from which to evaluate new and unique products, and don’t need to waste time reviewing the same or similar products again and again.  This all depends on the quality and process consistency used by AC and ER providers.

To download these articles for FREE, SEAOC members should first log in to their member account then click the links above to visit the SEAOC Bookstore. The articles are also available for purchase by non-members at the same links above.

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