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Proposed earthquake building codes get researchers, commissioners shaking

Discussion in 'Residential Seismic' started by mark handler, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. mark handler

    mark handler Sawhorse

    Oct 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Proposed earthquake building codes get researchers, commissioners shaking


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

    New research from the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America estimates a 7-7.5 magnitude earthquake will shake the 8 million people on and up to 200 miles away from the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) for up to 60 seconds. The question that still remains is what date it will hit.

    “There is enough evidence in terms that we see even in what we call geodetic - or GDS - showing how the ground is moving and shows that the fault is reloading and it is getting ready,” said Dr. Chris Cramer, Research Associate Professor at the University of Memphis’ Center for Earthquake Research and Information.

    He told FOX13 the longer the earth shakes the more of a problem it is for any structure to hold up, “no matter how well or poorly designed” it may be. But the Shelby County Commission and local builders are questioning this notion.

    “There's no science that says that the earthquake is going to occur directly under Memphis. It's going to be every bit of 100 miles away,” said Joe Tomasello, Project Manager at The Reaves Firm.

    An ordinance easing the building codes for earthquake protection passed the second reading Monday. It now goes for a third and final reading.

    “Instead of building houses for a high seismic region, we're going to be building houses for a moderate seismic region,” said Tomasello.

    He told FOX13 the ordinance downgrades which classification Shelby County is in. Current earthquake building standards in the county are equivalent to places in California like San Francisco.

    Tomasello said seismic building codes in Shelby County add an extra 10 to 15 percent to home building costs because codes require custom shear panels designed by an engineer. It’s based on national guidelines that Shelby County adopted in 2012.

    “They are very good models, they provide good guidance and good standards to which to build structures that that resist earthquakes particularly the magnitude sevens were talking about here,” said Cramer.
  2. Mark K

    Mark K Platinum Member

    May 12, 2010
    Likes Received:
    It seems that the Midwest is still in denial regarding earthquakes. The only difference is that they have decided to design for some earthquake forces.

    It was unclear what technical basis for deciding to downgrade the local criteria.

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