Congressional Briefing: Earthquake Hazards and the Nation’s Buildings

Following the recent string of earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, and Japan, questions regarding the ability of buildings in the U.S. to resist seismic activity have been raised. Lessons learned from earthquakes, other hazards, and ongoing research are incorporated into building codes and standards to mitigate potential hazards. The Multihazard Mitigation Council has identified that one dollar invested in hazard mitigation saves four dollars in future spending. This briefing will examine how these mitigation activities are incorporated into the design and construction of buildings and how communities can predict risk.

Thursday, April 28, 2011 • 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
U.S. House of Representatives
121 Cannon House Office Building


Henry Green, President, National Institute of Building Sciences
In Cooperation with
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) and Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) s
Co-Chairs, High Performance Building Congressional Caucus

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Co-Chairs, Congressional Hazards Caucus


Protecting Infrastructure: The Role of Standards (.ppt)
John Hooper, Chair, ASCE 7 Subcommittee on Seismic Loads
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Understanding the Impacts of Earthquakes on Buildings and Mitigating Their Impacts (.ppt)
Chris Poland
Chair, ASCE Standards Committee on Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Structures
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

What are the Risks? Predicting the Impact on Communities
Eric Berman, HAZUS Project Manager
Federal Emergency Management Agency