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RE: Design ground accelerations

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The geotechnical engineer can certainly report ground accelerations in
excess of those prescribed by the building code for a site-specific seismic
evaluation. But the structural engineer and the building official need to
evaluate this information in relation to specific code requirements, not
just accept the given accelerations as design values. 

It should be noted that Section 1631.2 of the 1997 UBC gives parameters to
be used in determining a site-specific design response spectrum for dynamic
analysis. But Section 1631.5.4 permits a reduction in design values to a
magnitude comparable with code prescribed accelerations. Thus, higher
site-specific ground accelerations should not result in design base shears
greater than the code prescribed values, when strictly applying the UBC
requirements. 


William C. Sherman, PE
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)cdm.com


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