These provisions present criteria for the design and construction of buildings subject to earthquake ground motions. Their purposes are to minimize the hazard to life for all buildings, to increase the expected performance of higher occupancy structures as compared to ordinary structures, and to improve the capability of essential facilities to function during and after an earthquake.
They provide the minimum criteria considered to be prudent and economically justified for the protection of life safety in buildings subject to earthquakes at any location in the United States. The "design earthquake" ground motion levels specified herein may result in both structural and nonstructural damage, but such damage is expected to be repairable. For ground motions larger than the design levels, the intent of these provisions is that there be a low likelihood of building collapse.