Report cards for buildings: A proposed rating system for expected earthquake performance

July 30, 2010
Publication: 9th US National and 10th Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering 2010 v 8 Paper # 1593
Author(s): Ronald Mayes K. Stillwell D.C. Hohbach

This paper previews a system under development by the SEAONC Existing Buildings Committee (Building Ratings Subcommittee) intended to clearly communicate information about relative seismic risk to the general public to facilitate awareness and sensible decision making. Although a typical engineering report can provide technical information for a single building, there is an unmet need for qualitative information to compare seismic performance among multiple buildings, and for terminology to support real-world decision making. Like other rating systems customarily used in transactions, such as the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) method of rating office space, SEAONC's Earthquake Performance Rating is proposed to be strictly voluntary, and presented so that its meaning is easily grasped by non-technical personnel, providing a common vocabulary of seismic risk. The intent is to have a rating system that utilizes many of the existing evaluation methodologies but translates their results into a format that will be easily understood by building owners and the general public. Feedback from potential users, including conference participants, will contribute to the development of a system that is credible, workable, and informative.