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RE: Mistreatment of Seismology Issues

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This issue should be important to structural engineers.  If we just design
per code as if it were a cook book we are going to make mistakes.  We should
at least try to understand the intent of the code.  The authors of codes (me
being among the sinners), do their work based on their experience, study,
and research.  They then take that knowledge and try to develop codes that
serve to have structures perform in a predictable manner for a projected
ground motion.  This is by and large a voluntary effort.  The code is not
infallible, but it is the best tool that we have.

I have endeavored to link MMI, accelerations, magnitude, and damage
projections.  The ranges overlap one another to such a degree that the
exercise was useless.

My advice is to read the NEHRP Recommended Provisions and Commentary
especially the 1997 issue which will explain where the code (IBC) is going
relative to ground motions and performance.  If this is indeed a topic of
interest read chapters 1 & 4 in the Commentary.

Harold Sprague, P.E.
The Neenan Company