Seismic design parameters - A user guide

Open-File Report 2001-437

Prepared in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Building Sciences Building Seismic Safety Council
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The 1997 NEHRP Recommended Provisions for Seismic Regulations for New Buildings (1997 NEHRP Provisions) introduced seismic design procedure that is based on the explicit use of spectral response acceleration rather than the traditional peak ground acceleration and/or peak ground velocity or zone factors. The spectral response accelerations are obtained from spectral response acceleration maps accompanying the report. Maps are available for the United States and a number of U.S. territories. Since 1997 additional codes and standards have also adopted seismic design approaches based on the same procedure used in the NEHRP Provisions and the accompanying maps.

The design documents using the 1997 NEHRP Provisions procedure may be divided into three categories -(1) Design of New Construction, (2) Design and Evaluation of Existing Construction, and (3) Design of Residential Construction. A CD-ROM has been prepared for use in conjunction with the design documents in each of these three categories. The spectral accelerations obtained using the software on the CD are the same as those that would be obtained by using the maps accompanying the design documents.

The software has been prepared to operate on a personal computer using a Windows (Microsoft Corporation) operating environment and a point and click type of interface. The user can obtain the spectral acceleration values that would be obtained by use of the maps accompanying the design documents, include site factors appropriate for the Site Class provided by the user, calculate a response spectrum that includes the site factor, and plot a response spectrum. Sites may be located by providing the latitude-longitude or zip code for all areas covered by the maps. All of the maps used in the various documents are also included on the CDROM

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Seismic design parameters - A user guide
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Version 1.0
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
25 p.