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Easy-to-understand seismic design guides for homes

December 18th, 2006

The International Code Council (ICC) partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to develop an easy-to-understand guide to help homebuilders, code officials, contractors and other non-engineers understand earthquake design requirements for homes.

The Homebuilders’ Guide to Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction, based on the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC), reflects recommended provisions of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program and results of the FEMA-funded CUREE-Caltech Woodframe Project.

“This is an invaluable resource to homebuilders in earthquake-prone areas,” said International Code Council CEO and former FEMA Regional Director Rick Weiland. “In my years with FEMA, I witnessed firsthand how much even simple acts of mitigation mean to those trying to stay out of harm’s way — and how much the failure to plan and prepare costs in needless suffering and loss.”

The Homebuilders’ Guide to Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction presents seismic design and construction direction for one- and two-family houses including the principles of seismic resistance, the impact of earthquake forces on conventional residential construction and detailed information on architectural considerations. It features discussions of masonry and stone elements, examples of typical floor plans for earthquake resistant one- and two-story homes, excerpts of seismic requirements from building codes and checklists for homebuilders.

The Homebuilders’ Guide to Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction replaces the Home Builder’s Guide to Seismic Resistant Construction published by FEMA in 1998 as well as earlier FEMA and HUD versions. The guide is available by calling 1-800-786-4452 or visiting www.iccsafe.org/builderseismic. Price: $13.50 (ICC members), $17 (nonmembers).

The ICC also is offering the IRC CodeMaster for Woodframe Dwellings and Townhouses. This handy, laminated, six-page guide outlines a seven-step procedure to apply structural code requirements to woodframe construction in higher seismic design categories in accordance with the 2006 IRC. Through sketches and easy-to-follow references and lists, homebuilders and other code users can readily determine and apply IRC requirements for site and soil, foundations, roof and ceiling framing, floor framing, wall framing, and wall bracing. The guide is available by calling 1-800-786-4452 or visiting www.iccsafe.org/cmwoodframe. Price: $9 (ICC members), $12 (nonmembers).

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