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[SEAOC] Using Spectral Acceleration to Proportion Buildings

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I would like to know what SEAOC's experiences are in using probabilistic or
deterministic spectral response acceleration values to proportion buildings
or other structures for seismic resistance? 
In your collective experience, does observed earthquake damage correlate well
with the ratio of recorded spectral acceleration to design acceleration? 
I wonder if the high design values near active sources are too high for
feasible proportioning of structures - even with Rw or R Factor reductions? 
Conversely are the low values far from known sources too low for good-sense
Should we be using other approaches or characteristics of earthquakes to
proportion buildings? If so, when and how?

I look forward to your thoughts.

Fred Turner, S.E.
California Seismic Safety Commission Staff