EAS recently completed seven (7) AB 300 ASCE 31-03 Tier 1 Structural Evaluation for a local school district.

The purpose of the evaluations was to identify potential seismic deficiencies in the building’s structural system. The objective is to use the appropriate screening check lists, Tier 1 of ASCE 31-03, to verify compliance or non-compliance. The outcome of this phase is a list identifying the seismic non-compliant deficiencies that could represent risks to the building.

The evaluations identify buildings of certain age and construction type as Benchmark Building or buildings that are generally perceived as compliant. Where a particular building falls within the parameters of this classification, only limited evaluation is normally required.

Where a building falls outside of these parameters, a full assessment is required to determine whether the building meets the stated performance level. For the purposes of this evaluation, the performance level is Life-Safety. This evaluation starts with a Tier 1 – Screening Phase that attempts to assess main components of the buildings’ seismic force resisting system by the use of standard checklists and simplified structural calculations. These procedures also include assessment of the buildings’ major non-structural components that could pose a risk to Life-Safety during a significant seismic event, and assessment of the building foundation system and site. Where any potential deficiencies are found during the initial Tier 1 analysis, ASCE-31 methodology requires that these potential deficiencies be corrected or that a refined evaluation be completed which could better assess the potential risk of these items. This second order evaluation phases are termed Tier 2 and Tier 3 and generally require substantially greater levels of effort. These subsequent assessments can either consist of a complete evaluation, or in some instances, a limited tier 2 evaluation focused on a certain perceived deficiency.