Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

RE: Colombian Earthquake - Jan.25,1999

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
    The issue of updating codes in developing countries is relevant to
Argentina too.
    As EQs are extraordinary ecologic events (meaning they occur very once
in a while), people only get concerned about their destructive potential
AFTER a big EQ (say >5 RM).
    But as years go by they tend to forget whatever they may have lost in
the previous event as a society and they are not willing to pay a group of
engineers to sit around a table and update something so eterous as a
"seismic code", because their problems are so much more form this Earth
(call them jobs, education, health, security, etc.)
    And the authorities suffer from a lack of concern about this because
they cannot risk to spend money on a code that probably won't show its full
benefits during their administration or even their life, and so they incur
in demagogic attitudes by not assuring the updating of seismic codes or
provisions...and privileging some more "off-showing" policies as building
more houses (which we need) and paving more roads (which we certainly need
    But the thing is that, as Juan Gray told the Asociación Colombiana de
Ingeniería Sísmica did, the proffesional associations must get together and
push for a change.
    That's the challenge for the next millenium, I think.


-----Mensaje original-----
De: Juan C. Gray <juangray(--nospam--at)>
Para: seaint(--nospam--at) <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Fecha: sábado, 30 de enero de 1999 11:34
Asunto: Re: Colombian Earthquake - Jan.25,1999

The first national building codewas adopted in Colombia in 1984 after
the Popayán earthquake. This code came out as a decre, and so , it was
legally binding everywhere , but there were no provitions for its
updating other than by decree. Structural engineers continued their on
updates , based on what they would find published in the US , and a very
striong movement developed based on the capacity design philosophy of
Parke and Paulay ; this was also encouraged in some universities. Last
year , after a long effort , the Asociación Colombiana de Ingenieria
Sismica was able to change the legal ruling and incorporate , as part of
the legal framework for the code , the continous updates that it will
begin to issue , based on state of the art experience.

> Newest version of Colombian Construction Building Code was presented by
> Ernerto Samper president last year. It seems to be datailed on
> zonification, seismic coefficients, constructive details.
> Main problem in our developing counties is that even having best designing
> code. There are a lot of old buildings builted more than 50 years ago
> without retrofiting
> carlos arce