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Italian Seismic Loads

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     A general comment on using the UBC in Italy and other countries.  
     Unless your client specifically directs you to use the UBC you may 
     need to dig a little further into the local requirements.  Although 
     the technical merit of seismic formulas in various codes are similar, 
     the philosophical values in regards to risk are not always the same.  
     The UBC limits damage only to life safety.  Some countries consider a 
     certain higher design level to include economical loss as well.  Most 
     codes have an equivalent "R" value, however, they can vary greatly 
     depending on local concerns due to possible poor construction (i.e. 
     suspect materials and installation), engineering expertise, government 
     support of replacement, etc.
     Also be aware that in Italy many of the engineering requirements are 
     implemented through Ministerial Degrees (i.e. legislated) as opposed 
     to being in an all inclusive code.  As example, for seismic, you may 
     need to comply with "Decreto Ministerial 16 Gennalo 1996 - Norme 
     tecniche relative alie costruzioni sismiche" (Law by Decree 16 January 
     1996 - Technical rules concerning seismic constructions).
     Thomas Hunt, S.E.
     Fluor Daniel

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Subject: Italian Seismic Loads
Author:  Parkerres(--nospam--at) at fdinet
Date:    1/20/99 5:00 PM

To all:
We are currently designing a piece of artwork to be hung from a ceiling of a 
musuem in Venice, Italy.  I would really appreciate it if someone could tell 
me what is the correct seismic design coefficient for such a piece.  We are 
currently basing our design on the 1994 UBC with Fp = ZICpWp = 0.80Wp, 
assuming Z = 0.40 for seismic zone 4, I = 1.0 for nonessentials, and Cp = 2.00 
for nonstructural components "signs and billboards" or "exterior and interior 
ornamentations and appendages".
Your input is appreciated.
Ciao -
Bruce Resnick, SE
Parker Resnick Str. Eng.