Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Staff Help Launch U.S. Resiliency Council and Building Rating System
System allows building owners to understand expected levels of performance in earthquakes
The U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC) recently launched its Earthquake Building Rating System, which allows building owners to understand expected levels of performance in earthquakes. To support this first-of-its-kind performance rating system, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) committed significant resources to the inaugural effort.
Several SGH employees contributed to launching the council and developing the new rating system. Most significantly, SGH staff consultant Ron Mayes is USRC’s co-founder and acting executive director. In addition, several SGH engineers are Certified Rating Professionals, who conduct seismic evaluations and guide users through the system. SGH is also a founding member of USRC.
According to Glenn Bell, SGH chief executive officer, “The Earthquake Building Rating System…is an important new and consistent way for owners, residents, users, and other key stakeholder to understand and compare seismic risk. By providing a reliable and transparent way to assess a building’s expected performance during an earthquake, the system helps users make more informed decisions.”
In time, the USRC intends to expand its resiliency ratings to include other natural hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.
The USRC Rating System will enable buildings constructed with masonry materials to demonstrate their performance levels. One feature of many masonry buildings is the low inter-story drifts that generally occur. The FEMA P58 methodology quantifies the performance of a building using the expected drifts and floor accelerations, and shear wall buildings tend to rate very well.
About the Author
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) is a national engineering firm that designs, investigates, and rehabilitates structures and building enclosures.