By Kevin S. Moore, S.E., Structural Standards Committee Chair
The US Resiliency Council (USRC) is a non-profit organization like Applied Technology Council (ATC) but with a different mission. The USRC mission is to be the implementation organization for technically credible Rating Systems. The USRC will not develop Rating Systems, but will develop and implement rating processes and accreditation and peer review procedures developed by others. The USRC provides a vessel for input from all major professional organizations including SEAOC, NCSEA, ATC, EERI, LA Tall Building Council and PEER.
The USRC will accredit engineers to rate or peer review the rating for a particular building. SEAOC has an Accreditation/Peer Review committee currently developing recommendations about required credentials for both an evaluator and a peer reviewer. The USRC will also be responsible for establishing an appeals process for situations where the application of a rating methodology is met with disagreement by the evaluator. This may seem a bit nebulous, but existing rating systems appear to be reliant upon a translation system between ASCE 41 and the assigned rating. Apparently, during beta testing of a rating system, observations/data of post-earthquake damage occasionally conflicts with rating metrics. Changing these metrics will require a formal appeal process to improve and modify the rating system based on experience. SEAOC is providing input into the development of a consistent and fair appeals process.
The USRC has held two “founding member” meetings, attended by both Michael Cochran and Kevin Moore, who are “founding member representatives” for SEAOC. Michael and Moore will serve on various USRC interim boards and committees during the frenetic development of the USRC (as the City of Los Angeles is very interested in using a rating system in early 2015). Moore chairs the SEAOC technical committees that are providing input related to rating systems and the USRC process for building ratings. Cochran will represent SEAOC on USRC organizational committees. In addition to Cochran and Moore, each SEAOC MO has at least two representatives as USRC “founding members.” While the USRC intends to be a national organization facilitating building ratings for multiple hazards, it is currently a California-centric entity with heavy influence from SEAOC and our membership. Reach out to your local MO board for more information and opportunity throughout 2014.