Seismic Design Basics  

Education Type: 
1 Hour


AIA Learning Units: 
1 LU

Buildings in any geographic location are subject to a wide variety of natural phenomena such as
windstorms, floods, earthquakes, and other hazards. About half of the states and territories in the United States—more than 109 million people and 4.3 million businesses—and most of the other populous regions of the earth are exposed to risks from seismic hazards. In the U.S. alone, the average direct cost of earthquake damage is estimated at $1 billion/year while indirect business losses are estimated to exceed $2 billion/year. While the occurrence of these incidents cannot be precisely predicted, their impacts are well understood and can be managed effectively through a comprehensive program of hazard mitigation planning and effective seismic design.

This course will provide an introduction to the concepts and principles of seismic design, including strategies for designing earthquake-resistant buildings to ensure the health, safety, and security of building occupants and assets.

Learning Objectives

By completing this course you will learn and be able to:

  • Explain how earthquakes occur;
  • Describe how earthquakes affect buildings;
  • Summarize at least two seismic design factors to consider in buildings; and
  • Understand at least two seismic design strategies or devices.