E – 1539 Strengthening School Buildings Against Earthquakes
Intended Audience: structural, civil, mechanical and construction engineers
PDH UNITS: 5
This course outlines the earthquake risk to schools and the processes and methods that can be used to reduce it. An explanation of the nature and probability of earthquakes is provided, together with procedures for determining the earthquake threat to specific locations and for evaluating the vulnerability of a school building. An assessment of the scope and effectiveness of seismic building codes is followed by a description of current methods of designing for seismic resistance in new buildings and upgrading existing buildings. Lastly, the course presents guidance for school districts, facility planners, and designers on determining acceptable risk and the use of performance- based design.
This course is based on Chapter 4, “Making Schools Safe From Earthquakes,” of “Design Guide for Improving School Safety in Earthquakes, Floods, and High Winds.” FEMA P-424, December, 2010.
At the successful conclusion of this course, you’ll be able to identify and discuss:
- Nature and probability of earthquakes
- Vulnerability of schools
- Earthquake damage to schools
- Seismic codes and schools
- Effectiveness of seismic codes
- Evaluating existing schools for seismic risk and specific risk reduction methods
- Risk reduction for new schools
- Risk reduction for existing schools
- The school as a post-earthquake shelter
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