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Learning seismic analysis and design procedures using problem set examples.

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When we were in college we prepared many problem sets which were an important
part of our educational experience.  For me that is still one of the best
tools to use in learning about seismic design, particularly if you work alone
most of each day.

At an excellent International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) seminar
on the 1997 Uniform Building Code Earthquake Regulations, I purchased a book
entitled "Seismic Design of Buildings and Bridges", 1998, by Alan Williams,
Registered Structural Engineer - California, published by Engineering Press,
Dept. 100, P.O. Box 200129, Austin, Texas, 78620. (I believe you can purchase
a copy by contacting ICBO, telephone 1-800-284-4406.  For ICBO members, the
cost is $44.00 plus shipping & handling plus California sales tax.)

Although this book was written for Civil and Structural Engineers preparing
for Special Civil Engineer Examination - California, National Structural
Engineering Examinations used in 26 states, Structural Engineer Examinations
used in California, Nevada, Washington, Hawaii and Idaho, I found the book
very useful in better understanding the 1997 UBC seismic provisions. For me
this book is more than a "guide" to aid one in passing state board
examinations.  It should be in the library of every civil and structural
engineer who uses or will be using the 1997 UBC seismic provisions.  

I liked the "problem set" approach which present the solutions to previous
structural engineering examinations problems.  These example are fully
documented with the 1997 UBC applicable sections, equations and numerical
examples fully worked out in detail.  I can read an equation found in the UBC
but until I substitute numbers and work out the solution to the equations I do
not fully understand meaning and purpose of these equations.

Just thumbing through the book, I found many examples of every day seismic
analysis and design problems one faces in most structural engineering offices.
In addition to examples about the usual structural systems and materials, the
book has a nice section on simple structural dynamics.

For example, it did not "jump out at me" until I read and followed Example 2-9
on page 69 in this book that in the 1997 UBC, Section 1629.1 Basis for
Design, you can use the "Allowable Stress Design" procedures to evaluate
sliding or overturning at the soil-structure interface regardless of the
design approach used in the design of the structure, provided load
combinations of Section 1612.3 are utilized.  This provision allows you to
reduce the sliding and overturning forces by a factor of 1.4.

This book has excellent figures, fully developed equations with numeric
solutions, and references.  I strongly recommend you obtain a copy for your
library if you are interested in seismic analysis and design.

I quickly add that Alan Williams is not my son-in-law or any relative and I
paid full price for this excellent book.

Frank E. McClure   FEMCCLURE(--nospam--at)