Earthquake Resources

2020 NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures

FEMA P-2082 (2020 Edition)

September 2020

FEMA is pleased to announce the release of FEMA P-2082, 2020 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures. The release of the 2020 NEHRP Provisions marks the tenth edition of this widely recognized and reputable technical resource document since its first edition in 1985.

The NEHRP Provisions have been an essential resource for improving national seismic design codes and standards, and construction practices. Changes contained in Parts 1 and 2 of the 2020 NEHRP Provisions are expected to be considered for adoption by ASCE/SEI 7-2022 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures, which will be later considered for adoption by the International Building Code 2024.

Consistent with the 2009 and 2015 editions, the 2020 NEHRP Provisions includes two volumes:

Volume 1: Part 1 Provisions and Part 2 Commentary: Part 1 Provisions provides recommended changes to the seismic requirements of ASCE/SEI 7-16, Chapters 11 to 23.  Part 2 Commentary provides a complete commentary for each chapter.  It is comprised of the new commentary to each recommended change contained in Part 1 along with the existing ASCE/SEI 7-16 commentary to unchanged sections.  Listed below are some changes in the 2020 edition

  • Revised intent of the NEHRP Provisions
  • New multiperiod response spectra (MPRS) procedures and related design criteria
  • Three added new site classes
  • Updated risk-targeted maximum considered earthquake (MCER) ground motions based on the most recent 2018 USGS National Seismic Hazard Model, MPRS and updated site classes
  • Design parameters and requirements for coupled shear wall systems
  • Alternative design procedures for rigid wall-flexible diaphragm buildings
  • Updated requirements and limitations for irregularities
  • New seismic design force equations for nonstructural components
  • A concept paper on resilience-based seismic design

Volume 2: Part 3 Resource Papers: Part 3 Resource Papers include 9 individual papers.  They provide background information for some changes in Part 1 and introduce new concepts and procedures for experimental use by the design community, researchers, and standards-development and codes-development organizations. 

You may also order a hard copy of the new Provisions for free by calling the FEMA publication warehouse number 1-800-480-2520 or by emailing femapubs@gpo.gov

For more information about FEMA NEHRP, click here.


FEMA P-2091: A Practical Guide to Soil-Structure Interaction

January 19, 2020

A Practical Guide to Soil-Structure Interaction: Soil-structure interaction (SSI) can make a substantial difference in how buildings behave during an earthquake shaking and how they should be designed.  This Guide is intended to help engineers know when incorporating SSI would be important and to provide examples of how to implement different SSI techniques.  The primary target audience for the Guide is practicing engineers who are familiar with seismic design using ASCE/SEI 7 but who have little to no experience with SSI, and the focus of the Guide is on techniques that practicing engineers can use.

Link to the Guide – https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema-p-2091-soil-structure-interaction.pdf


FEMA Earthquake Fact sheets


Assessing Seismic Performance of Buildings with Configuration Irregularities

September 1, 2018

This guidance evaluates current building code triggers, the influence of structural irregularities on seismic building performance (in terms of collapse probability), and the effectiveness of relevant code provisions.  The objective of the studies conducted under this project was to inform and improve U.S. codes and standards so that structures with configuration irregularities have a level of safety against collapse in an earthquake that is comparable to that for regular structures.  The publication focuses primarily on design requirements for new buildings, with limited consideration of the treatment of irregularities for existing buildings.

With a focus on irregularities that have detrimentally affected structural performance in past earthquakes or that are common in current construction trends, the project considered 12 classes of structural configuration irregularities identified in current U.S. codes and standards and two new classes as follows:

  • Torsional stiffness
  • Reentrant corner
  • Diaphragm discontinuity
  • Out-of-plane offset
  • Nonparallel system
  • Torsional strength
  • Soft story
  • Weight [mass]
  • Vertical geometric
  • In-plane discontinuity
  • Weak story
  • Weak-column/strong-beam

Download FEMA P-2012,


Hazus Estimated Annualized Earthquake Losses for the US.  

June 30, 2017

The edition of FEMA P-366, Hazus Estimated Annualized Earthquake Losses for the United States, developed by the FEMA Hazus team, the National Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP), the USGS and the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), is now available online and via the FEMA Publication Warehouse.

This 2017 update is computed with Hazus®-MH 30, the 2010 US Census data, and the 2014 U.S. Geological Survey Probabilistic Earthquake Hazard Maps. In addition, the new study has integrated site soil effects for a more accurate estimate of hazard influences to the losses. Hazus is a FEMA-developed and maintained geographic information system-based loss estimation tool. The Hazus tool provides a method for quantifying future earthquake losses. It is national in scope, uniform in application, and comprehensive in its coverage of the built environment.

The Hazus study indicates the following key findings:

  • The Annualized Earthquake Loss (AEL) to the national building stock is $6.1 billion.
  • The majority (73 percent) of AEL occurs on the west coast (i.e., California, Oregon, and Washington).
  • Approximately 61 percent ($3.7 billion) of the AEL is concentrated in Structural and non-structural losses account for 18 percent and 82 percent of the building loss in AEL breakdown for California.
  • 55 metropolitan areas account for 85 percent of the national AEL, seventeen major metropolitan areas have local AEL over $50
  • The earthquake threat is national, with 31 States exposed to AEL exceeding $10

This study is to support earthquake awareness, preparedness, implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures, and strategies to reduce the current seismic risk in our most at-risk communities. Strategies to reduce future losses nationwide need to be closely integrated with policies and programs that guide planning and development.

The publication is available to the public, electronic version by download or hard copy by phone.

  • To access digitally, visit the https://wfema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/132305.
  • To order a hardcopy, contact the FEMA Distribution Center via email, FEMA-Publications-Warehouse@dhs.gov, or phone, 1-800-480-2520.


NEHRP Presents Two Publications

January 2017

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) of FEMA Building Science Branch is pleased to present two new publications, FEMA P-1051 CD: 2015 NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples and FEMA P-1052 CD: 2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials. These publications are developed as educational and training resources to support users of the 2015 Edition of the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures (FEMA P-1050) and ASEC/SEI 7-17 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures.

FEMA P-1051: 2015 NEHRP Provisions: Design Examples provides selected technical design examples that apply the new methods, concepts, and procedures adopted in the 2015 NEHRP ProvisionsFEMA P-1052: 2015 NEHRP Provisions: Training and Instructional Materials provides presentations covering the new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions and key points for the corresponding design examples in FEMA P-1051.  These two publications are intended for a technical audience including engineers and architects, members of the codes and standards organizations, building code professionals, research institutes, universities, material industries, and others who will benefit from a good understanding of the new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions and their corresponding code changes in the upcoming ASCE/SEI 7-17.

Both publications are available to the public for download and on CD.  To access digitally, visit the NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures. 2015 Edition FEMA Library page.  To order CDs, contact the FEMA Distribution Center via email, FEMA-Publications-Warehouse@dhs.gov, or phone, 1-800-480-2520.

FEMA encourages design and building practices that address earthquake hazards and minimize the resulting risk of damage and injury.  The NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures, 2015 Edition (FEMA P-1050) is another step forward to improve the seismic safety of construction in our country.  FEMA engages with codes and standards organizations to incorporate these developments into building codes, and provides publications, such as FEMA P-1051 CD and P-1052 CD, to support best practices in engineering designs.


Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards

January 2015  

The Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) handbook can be used by trained personnel to identify, inventory, and screen buildings that are potentially seismically vulnerable. The RVS procedure comprises a method and several forms that help users to quickly identify, inven

tory, and score buildings according to their risk of collapse if hit by major earthquakes. The RVS handbook describes how to identify the structural type and key weakness characteristics, how to complete the screening forms, and how to manage a successful RVS program.
Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards: Supporting Documentation. Third Edition (FEMA P-155).  The third edition of the Supporting Documentation (FEMA P-155) describes the technical background and process used to update the Handbook and the revisions considered and conclusions reached. Extensive detail is also provided in FEMA P-155 on the third edition scoring and associated risk.


NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures 

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions marks the ninth edition of this technical resource document since its first publication in 1985.  FEMA is proud to sponsor this cycle of the NEHRP Provisions update, and to publish the new edition for use by national codes and standards organizations and the general public.  

The 2015 NEHRP Provisions are a new knowledge-based resource document intended to translate research results into engineering design practice. The new changes in the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have incorporated extensive results and findings from recent research projects, problem-focused studies, and post-earthquake investigation reports conducted by various professional organizations, research institutes, universities, material industries, and the NEHRP agencies. Similar to the previous edition, the 2015 NEHRP Provisions have adopted by reference the American Structural Engineers Association (ASCE) / Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) standard ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for New Buildings and Other Structures as the baseline. Order the new Provisions for free by calling the FEMA publication warehouse number 1-800-480-2520.

For more information and to download the two volume NEHRP Recommended Seismic Provisions for New Buildings and Other Structures 2015 Edition please visit: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/107646.