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Re: Standard of Care: Investigation of Existing Building Structure for Alteration or Addition

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Hi Bill,
I use ASCE 31 (FEMA 310, FEMA 178) for the first pass review of the
building.  In California the State requires a FEMA 178 evaluation of all
buildings in which a state office leases space.  310 and now, ASCE 31, are
expansions and updates of 178.  FEMA 310 is referenced as a first tier
evaluation tool in FEMA 357 which is a part of the proposed IEBC for 2003
which takes off from Chapter 34 of the IBC.  For certain classes of building
the Guidelines for Seismic Retrofit of Existing Buildings by ICBO (formerly
the UCBC)is an excellent source even if the potential threat is other than
seismic.
Most building officials and owners are unfamiliar with the proper criteria
for analysis and level of demand to use on existing buildings and think of
"bringing it up to current code" or nothing as the only two alternatives.
This is generally unnecessary and unsuitable for buildings that have archaic
materials and often one or two weak links in the load path which can be
corrected without enormous cost.
The references given above attempt to fill this need but more work is
needed.
The Existing Buildings Committee of SEAOC and others are working on this.
We hope to get this committee work going at the NCSEA level to provide input
to future IEBC editions.


Richard Hess
562 799 9787
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Polhemus" <bill(--nospam--at)polhemus.cc>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Monday, October 07, 2002 6:03 PM
Subject: Standard of Care: Investigation of Existing Building Structure for
Alteration or Addition


> IBC Section 3409.4 states "The owner shall have a structural analysis of
the
> existing building made to determine adequacy of structural systems for the
> proposed alteration, addition or change of occupancy. The existing
building
> shall be capable of supporting the minimum load requirements of Chapter
16."
>
> The Code goes on to state that a report detailing the results is to be
> submitted to the Building Official, who will then "determine whether the
> existing building" including the alteration or addition, is in compliance.
>
> The questions I have in this regard are as follows:
>
> 1. What is the minimum standard of care that should be observed in
gathering
> the data used to perform the afforementioned structural analysis? Put
> another way, what level of data gathering should be performed? Destructive
> investigation where necessary, including core testing of concrete or
coupon
> testing of steel, among other things?
>
> Or is it sufficient to make certain reasonable, perhaps conservative,
> assumptions?
>
> 2. How should this data be gathered? Has anyone performed this kind of
thing
> on a low-rise commercial building of venerable age--say fifty years or
more?
> How did you do it? Did you employ, say, a surveyor? Or a material test
> company?
>
> Does anyone have any suggestions as to who I might contact to gather this
> level of data?
>
> Thanks in advance for your input.
>
>
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