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RE: Philosophy: Seismic Design Standards

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In my opinion, the building code should "codify current approaches ... with
some changes to address how things SHOULD be done".  For the current seismic
requirements, I think emphasis should be placed on clarifying and
simplifying the current requirements.  I recommend that simplified methods
be provided wherever possible, with optional provisions to do a more
detailed analysis for economy and special provisions for more important
structures.  

Code formulas and coefficients should correspond to identifiable quantities.
This is one area that I think improvements have been made in the seismic
codes over the years, e.g. I couldn't relate to "K" in the formula ZIKSW,
but I can relate "R" to ductility in the formula ZICW/R; and I can relate to
Aa=0.40 better than "Zone 4".  Also, commentaries and design examples help
greatly when trying to interpret the real purpose of code language.  

One area I would like to see developed further in the code is in the area of
seismic standards for "damage control" vs "life safety", specifically for
usability after a significant seismic event.  This could be done in an
optional Appendix to be selected by the Owner or engineer, as applicable.