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[SEAOC] Seismic Rehabilitation: FEMA 172 v. FEMA 273/274

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Resent November 30,1996

November 28, 1996

Dave Evans, P.E.

Before answering your question, we need to establish a common basis of understanding.

FEMA 172, "NEHRP Handbook of Techniques for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings" was prepared to provide rehabilitation techniques to mitigate the seismic deficiences found by the application of FEMA 178, "NEHRP Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings."  Please do not get confused because FEMA 172 has a lower number than FEMA 178.  In my mind, FEMA 178 was being reviewed and revised as FEMA 172 was being completed and printed first.  These are two very good handbooks relating to the seismic evaluation (FEMA 178) and rehabilitation - retrofit - (FEMA 172) of existing buildings.

For residents in the United States, I believe that they are available FREE from Birch & Davis Associates, Inc. FEMA Project, Suite 300, 8905 Fairview Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (301) 589-6760, FAX (301) 650-0398.  If you have used these handbooks or when you have used these handbooks and find them useful, please write a letter of appreciation to  Mr. Ugo Morelli, FEMA Mitigation, 500 C Street, SW, Washington, D. C. 20472.

He has been involved with the FEMA  Seismic Mitigation program for many years and deserves much credit for seeing  that FEMA 172, FEMA 178, FEMA 273/274 and other similar projects were undertaken and funded.  He gets continued funding for these projects based on the number of favorable WRITTEN responses he receives.  Please take the time to send him written letters of appreciation so he has the support he needs for future seismic rehabilitation projects as well as appreciation for his previous fine efforts.  Considering that these handbooks are provided FREE, it is little to ask that we write letters of appreciation.

FEMA 273, NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, FEMA 274, NEHRP Commentary on the Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, FEMA 276, Example Applications of the NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic Rehabilitation of Buildings, and FEMA 275, Planning for Seismic Rehabilitation: Societal Issues are all part of  "The Package."  This  "Package" of documents is being prepared to aid those architects, civil and structural engineers, buildings officials, regulatory enforcement officials, building owners and managers, contractors and sub-contractors, material interests - everyone- involved with the seismic evaluation and rehabilitation - retrofit- of existing buildings.   FEMA 273/274 are undergoing the Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) Ballot procedures, with the first balloting due approximately December 15, 1996.  I am not sure of the status of FEMA 276 and FEMA 275.

I believe the whole "Package" is to be completed and available by the end of 1997.
If you desire more information concerning the "Package" you should contact, Building Seismic Safety Council, 1201 L Street, Suite 400, Washington, D. C. 20005, Telephone (202) 289-7800, FAX (202) 289-1082.   Tell them that Frank McClure sent you. 

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has a new project to update FEMA 178 to incorporate the provisions of FEMA 273.  This project is just getting started.

FEMA 273/274 is the most comprehensive project to provide Guidelines for the seismic rehabilitation of buildings yet developed.  FEMA 273 provisions will also be used for the evaluation of existing buildings in the ASCE FEMA 178 Update project.

For those of use who have been involved in the evaluation and rehabilitation - retrofit- for many years,  FEMA 273/274 has some very important input to attempting to solve a very difficult problem to rehabilitate - retofit- existing buildings for seismic ground motions.

Please do not hesitate to contact the above organizations for more information.
Also, please write Ugo Morelli a letter of appreciation.  No, his is not my brother-in-law.

Frank McClure       FEMCCLURE(--nospam--at)