Congress directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)to create approaches that may mitigate the potential effects of major earthquakes.
The partnership formed a group of over 30 building owners, social scientists, building owners, architects and engineers to explore various options and address concerns in standards, practices and policies, NIST said Wednesday.
The committee urged the government as well as codes and standards organizations to build a national framework that will devise objectives based on buildings' recovery time. The group also recommended an education campaign on earthquake risks as well as the creation of a recovery-based design criteria for lifelines and buildings in a bid to set design parameters.
"The immediate aim of the report is to spark a national conversation about developing a consensus for recovery goals and timelines," said Siamak Sattar, a structural engineer at NIST. "This approach may eventually be reflected in building codes, but first, a considerable amount of research must be tackled," added Sattar.
NIST and FEMA are member agencies under the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.