SEAOC Seismology Committee Report

Formulated by Maurice A. Biot in 1932, the response spectrum methodology was developed into a standard spectrum shape, suitable for design in 1941, refined using response spectrum superposition in 1942.  The response spectrum methodology was adopted as a design tool in the early 1970s.  Since then, there have been many advances in our knowledge in seismic design of structures, including computer modeling power.

Current design practice has generally surpassed the use of a single degree of freedom model to analyze current design problems. SEAOC would like to start the process of revising the design environment to take advantage of our in-depth knowledge of seismic design and computer modeling abilities, including the integration of full scale test results.  We believe that there is an opportunity to promulgate an advanced method of seismic analysis that better predicts structural behavior of buildings designed by structural engineers.

SEAOC Seismology Committee is currently working on an evaluation of the Response Modification Coefficient.  The focus of the committee effort is to explore the validity of R by reevaluating base assumptions in context of existing available full scale testing data and analytical model analysis.  While there are numerous other studies on the subject, both ongoing and historic, SEAOC intends to explore the subject in context of the practitioner and how one might improve both analysis and design using available procedures with simplifying assumptions.

If you have an interest in the topic and would like to contribute to the conversation, please contact the Seismology Chair or the Structural Standards Chair.

Bahram Zarin-afsar, SEAOC, Chair of Seismology 2013-2014
Kevin Moore, SE, SEAOC, Structural Standards Chair

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