Seismic Waves: FEMA Homebuilders' Guide to Earthquake-Resistant Design and Construction [open pdf - 399KB]
Seismic Waves is a newsletter published by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). "Under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program [...], the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works to reduce the ever-increasing risks to people and property posed by earthquakes and related hazards in the United States. Preventing losses by designing and constructing buildings to withstand anticipated earthquake forces is one of the key components of mitigation and one of the most effective ways of reducing the costs of future disasters. As part of its mitigation responsibilities under NEHRP, FEMA develops, publishes, and disseminates technical guidance on the design and construction of earthquake-resistant structures. One- and two-family dwellings have traditionally performed fairly well in earthquakes because of their relative lightness and regular shape, and, as a result, little technical guidance on the earthquake-resistant design and construction of these dwellings has been developed. While one- and two-family houses typically do not collapse in earthquakes, recent events have shown that they can sustain significant damage and be rendered uninhabitable. This is especially true when sufficient attention is not paid to construction details and when contemporary design dictates the use of large expanses of windows and irregular footprints. Given the sheer number of these buildings in the United States, even minor earthquake damage to houses can result in significant aggregate loss and heavy demand for temporary housing."
National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: http://www.nehrp.gov/
Seismic Waves (October 2007)