An engineer checked for damage done to the Washington Monument, a 555-foot obelisk located on the national mall in Washington, D.C., by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 23, 2011. The monument underwent repairs and was reopened May 12, 2014.

Executive Order Covers Earthquake Resilience for Federal Buildings

The president's order followed a "Building for Earthquake Safety" session at the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit.

An executive order issued by President Obama last week, prior to the start of the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit, sets a federal earthquake risk standard that calls for new, leased, and regulated federal buildings to meet seismic safety provisions outlined in the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, both of which are products of the International Code Council (ICC).

The order specifies that agencies that design or construct a new building for federal occupancy, as well as those altering such a building or leasing one, ensure that the structures designed and built in accordance with the earthquake-resistant design and construction standards in the codes. When the ICC releases a new version of either code, each agency that constructs buildings shall determine whether the new version is a nationally recognized code within two years and, if so, must ensure that any new building complies with the new version or an equivalent code.

In addition, agencies that own an existing federal building are directed to adopt the Standards of Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned and Leased Buildings, which are issued by the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction, for which NIST is the lead, as the minimum level acceptable for managing the earthquake risks in that building. Agencies may require higher performance levels than exist in the codes and standards, according to the text of the order.

"There is no more important contributor to reducing communities' risks from earthquakes than the adoption and application of modern building codes and standards," said ICC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO, who was a panelist at the earthquake summit in Washington, D.C. "To survive and remain resilient and to assure the rapid recovery of local economies, communities must employ the most up-to-date code provisions. This executive order ensures that federal facilities and their occupants will be safe when the next earthquake strikes."

Participants in the "Building for Earthquake Safety" session at the summit included Judge Alice Hill with the National Security Council; National Institute of Standards and Technology Director Willie May; Sims; and Dr. Lucy Jones with the U.S. Geological Survey. Summit participants included Code Council Board of Directors President Alex Olszowy, III and White House National Security Council Director of Hazard Mitigation & Risk Reduction Policy Eric Letvi.

"This is a significant day for building safety professionals and the construction industry as a whole," said Olszowy, of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government in Lexington, Ky. "When code officials, designers, manufacturers, and contractors work together, along with government leaders, researchers, and academia, we enhance our goal of creating a safer built environment. The beneficiaries, of course, are the people who occupy the structures where they live, work, worship, go to school, and play."

Product Showcase

  • Magid® D-ROC® GPD412 21G Ultra-Thin Polyurethane Palm Coated Work Gloves

    Magid’s 21G line is more than just a 21-gauge glove, it’s a revolutionary knitting technology paired with an advanced selection of innovative fibers to create the ultimate in lightweight cut protection. The latest offering in our 21G line provides ANSI A4 cut resistance with unparalleled dexterity and extreme comfort that no other 21-gauge glove on the market can offer! 3

  • Full Line of Defense Against Combustible Dust Nilfisk

    Nilfisk provides a comprehensive range of industrial vacuums meticulously crafted to adhere to NFPA 652 housekeeping standards, essential for gathering combustible dust in Class I, Group D, and Class II, Groups E, F & G environments or non-classified settings. Our pneumatic vacuums are meticulously engineered to fulfill safety criteria for deployment in hazardous surroundings. Leveraging advanced filtration technology, Nilfisk ensures the secure capture of combustible materials scattered throughout your facility, ranging from fuels, solvents, and metal dust to flour, sugar, and pharmaceutical powders. 3

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. 3

Featured

Webinars