The Missing Piece: Improving Seismic Design and Construction Practices

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The ATC-57 report, The Missing Piece: Improving Seismic Design and Construction Practices, was funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). (Published 2003, 102 pages)

ABSTRACT: This report defines a much-expanded problem-focused knowledge development, synthesis and transfer program to improve seismic design and construction practices. The report was developed to provide a framework for eliminating the technology transfer gap that has emerged within the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) that limits the adaptation of basic research knowledge into practice. This gap was identified during the NEHRP strategic planning process undertaken by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 1998 to 2001.

The problem-focused research and development program defined in the ATC-57 report emphasizes two subject areas, with a total of five Program Elements proposed:

  • Systematic support of the seismic code development process.
    • Program Element 1: Provide technical support for the seismic practice and code development process
    • Program Element 2: Develop the technical basis for performance-based seismic engineering by supporting problem-focused, user-directed research and development.
  • Improvement of seismic design and construction productivity.
    • Program Element 3: Support the development of technical resources (e.g., guidelines and manuals) to improve seismic engineering practice.
    • Program Element 4: Make evaluated technology available to practicing professionals in the design and construction communities.
    • Program Element 5: Develop tools to enhance the productivity, economy and effectiveness of the earthquake resistant design and construction process.

The report also contains six issue papers commissioned to develop initial recommendations and needed background information, including a discussion on how technology transfer works in this industry and a history of the decline in engineering and construction productivity in the United States. Also included is a list of industry representatives who participated in a workshop in July 2002 to define the needed problem-focused knowledge development, synthesis and transfer program.

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ATC-57 Table of Contents (atc-57-toc.pdf, 183 Kb) [Download]