Coughlin Porter Lundeen Presentations Help Prepare AEC Clients for Seismic Code Updates

The region we call home is plagued with imminent talk of “The Next Big One.” And while we can’t predict when or with what force the next earthquake will strike, we can be prepared and predict how it will affect structures. There are teams and committees who set out to research the nuances of earthquakes and shape the building codes accordingly. It’s important work, and many of our own team members contribute to shaping these life safety requirements. As a locally-based engineering firm specializing in seismic design, it’s our job to understand the interplay between our region’s geography and the city’s infrastructure. We also consider it our responsibility to communicate with our partners, clients and community!

In the last edition of The Connection, we wrote about significant code updates that are being implemented in our region, and how the new requirements will influence how we build. [Read it here] We focused on three categories: seismic, unreinforced masonry (URM) and wood. Since publishing, several clients and partners have requested even more detail around the seismic code revisions. (After all, these code updates will affect almost every project in the pipeline.) Listening to this feedback, our team of experts began preparing presentations tailored to each stakeholders’ unique concerns. We aim to translate these code changes, help teams understand how they’ll be affected, and provide insight to minimize the negative impacts.

We’re told that our presentations are incredibly valuable, not only helping teams feel better prepared, but helping them understand how the changes will affect their specific project and/or discipline. So, we’re making the offer public! We’d be happy to send a team of seismic experts to present at your office!

What do our presentations look like? While we customize each depending on your ask and needs, we do always begin the same way: with the basics. Why is the PNW susceptible to earthquakes in the first place? What makes the Puget Sound particularly vulnerable to liquefaction and intensified shaking? Yes, it indulges our nerd sides a bit, but we feel it’s essential to discuss the scientific reasoning behind why these updates are being implemented in the first place. Ultimately, it’s about saving lives. Safety underscores everything we do as seismic engineers. Codes are continually reassessed and updated to ensure buildings are being future-proofed for optimal performance during a seismic event.

Next, we begin answering the burning questions specific to our AEC counterparts: What price increases can I expect with the adoption of these new code parameters? How will these changes affect my building layout? Will they have any implications on project schedules and permit review times? Is the building I just designed now unsafe?  

Whether owner, architect or contractor, these code updates are significant and will be felt industry-wide. Our team is ready to tackle these code changes, prepared to recommend alternative layouts and solutions, and able to suggest analytical techniques that minimize the negative impacts. If you’re interested in learning about how these changes will affect your project, please reach out to schedule a presentation. We’re excited to meet with you!

Matt Snook is our primary point of contact for seismic presentations. If you’re interested in scheduling a presentation at your office (or ours!) please send him an email with your preferred dates and times.