2017 SEAONC Fall Seminar: What's New in Old Buildings: Updates to ASCE 41-17

REGISTER HERE for the 2017 SEAONC Fall Seminar!

What's New in Old Buildings: Updates to ASCE 41-17

A new version of ASCE 41 is just around the corner—by December, ASCE 41-17 will be on the market.  This new standard represents a significant effort by over 100 individuals to update the combined seismic evaluation and retrofit standard.  There are numerous changes in the new document.  Some of the more significant ones include: major changes in how Tier 1 and Tier 2 procedures demonstrate compliance with the Basic Performance Objective for Existing Buildings, how force-controlled actions are dealt with in linear and nonlinear analyses, how steel columns are modeled in nonlinear procedures, how to address out-of-plane actions in unreinforced masonry walls, and a new nonstructural performance level for the most significant hazards.  This seminar will feature members of the ASCE 41 standards committee presenting on these changes and more.   

When: Thursdays, November 9 and 16, 2017

Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m

Where: PG&E Auditorium, San Francisco

Night 1 (November 9th):

General Provisions & Performance Objectives

Robert Pekelnicky, Principal, Degenkolb Engineers

Significant changes to how seismic evaluations and retrofits will be carried out are just around the corner with the publication of the 2017 edition of ASCE/SEI 41 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings. This presentation will highlight the significant updates to the general provisions including specific discussions on revisions to the Basic Performance Objective for Existing Buildings (BPOE), the introduction of a new nonstructural performance level, and how the seismic hazard parameters and ground motion selection and scaling has changed from previous editions.  

Bob Pekelnicky is a recognized expert in earthquake hazard mitigation of existing structures. As a principal of Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco, he specializes in making community and business infrastructure resilient against earthquakes, explosions, and other hazards. He has applied his multi-hazard mitigation knowledge to various projects for government, high technology, and healthcare clients. His career has focused on taking new, innovative structural engineering concepts from research and applying them to practice to better meet clients' needs. Bob is active in many ASCE standards committees. He chairs the ASCE 41 Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit Committee and is an active member of the ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads and Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures Committee. He also chairs the General Structural Requirements Subcommittee and is a member of the both the Steering Committee and the Seismic Subcommittee. He was a key contributor to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Disaster Resilient Community Guidelines. Bob actively develops better performance-based earthquake engineering methodologies, building codes, and standards.

Analysis Updates

Ron Hamburger, Senior Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger

The analysis procedures contained in ASCE 41 have remained essentially unchanged from those originally developed as part of the ATC-33 project for FEMA 273/274 in the mid-1990s. While these procedures represented a major step forward in performance-based design, they were based on scant data on the nonlinear behavior of many common structural components and did not rigorously incorporate structural reliability concepts. As a result, the procedures contained in the standard can result in a significant potential for collapse and other structural failures. ASCE 41-17 incorporated structural reliability concepts to develop more reliable procedures that would provide greater probability that structures retrofitted using the procedures would actually achieve their intended performance goals. Ron will also provide an overview of several other important changes.

Ronald Hamburger has more than 40 years of structural engineering practice.  A Senior Principal with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s San Francisco office, he has been active in the development of guidelines codes and standard used by the profession.  He was a member of the project technical committee for the development of FEMA 273/274, assisted in conversion of that Guideline into the FEMA 356 Prestandard and served as chair of the ASCE 41 Analysis Subcommittee for the 2017 cycle.  Ron also serves as chair of the ASCE 7 standards committee.




Nonstructural Components

Brian Kehoe, Associate Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates

A number of important updates were made to the nonstructural provisions in ASCE 41-17. Changes to the nonstructural performance levels included the re-introduction of the Hazards Reduced nonstructural performance level. There have also been clarifications to the intended nonstructural performance. Another significant change is the introduction of testing requirement for anchorage of nonstructural components to concrete and masonry.

Although no major changes have been made to the nonstructural design forces, the tables for Rp and ap factors have been eliminated and replaced with references to ASCE 7. Load combinations have also been revised to be consistent with ASCE 7 for calculation of anchorage forces. Acceptance criteria for drift-controlled components has been clarified.

Brian Kehoe is a Structural Engineer with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., (WJE). He has a BS degree in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University and a MS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a licensed Civil and Structural Engineer in California and is active in ASCE, ACI, and EERI. He has been a member of the steering committee for the ASCE Standards Committee that developed ASCE 41-06 and 41-13. He has also participated in the update of nonstructural provisions of ASCE 7-16. He was a member of the ASCE/SEI reconnaissance teams following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes near Christchurch. Brian is experienced in investigating and designing repairs for structures that have been impacted by fire, corrosion, wood decay, or natural disasters. He has assessed structural damage after several major earthquakes and has designed repairs and strengthening for a variety of buildings. 


Night 2 (November 16th):

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Evaluations

Peter Somers, Principal, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

This presentation summarizes the revisions to the Deficiency-Based Evaluation and Retrofit procedures in ASCE 41-17.  The most significant change to these procedures relates to the change of the Basic Performance Objective for Existing Buildings (BPOE) to a Collapse Prevention performance level from a Life Safety performance level basis in ASCE 41-13. The reasons for the change will be addressed in a separate presentation. The BPOE change required the Tier 1 screening checklists to change to a Collapse Prevention performance basis, though for reasons that will be explained, this did not result in significant technical changes to the checklists.

Besides highlighting several technical changes to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 provisions, the presentation will address some organizational changes to the provisions to improve usability, updates to the limitations for these procedures, and the addition of cold-formed steel systems, and an editorial reorganization of the Tier 1 checklists.

Peter Somers is a Principal at Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) in Seattle, where he leads MKA’s Existing Building Specialist group.  He received his BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and is a licensed Structural Engineer in Washington and Nevada and Professional Engineer in California and Hawaii.  Peter has 24 years of professional experience, with specialization in renovations and seismic retrofits of existing buildings throughout the Western US and Hawaii. His current focus is large, mixed-use developments with significant renovation components. 

Peter served as the vice president of the Steering Committee for the development of the ASCE 41-17 standard and led the Tier 1 Issue Team.  He is also an active member of the NCSEA Existing Building Subcommittee, and SEAW’s Earthquake Engineering Committee.



Steel Provision Updates

Dan Bech, Principal, Holmes Structures

The steel modeling and evaluation criteria in ASCE 41-13 have not changed significantly since they were first adopted into the FEMA 273 guidelines. A few changes have been incorporated over the years including the adoption of some of the findings that were born out of the SAC project. The ASCE 41-17 committee made a significant effort to update the standard with recent research and practices. The changes include updates to the column modeling criteria, inclusion of shear deformation in the yield rotation equation for beams and columns, axial load effects on panel zones including provisions for weak panel zones, axial load effects on link beams and inclusion of new material properties in Table 9-1. The presentation will step through these updates and changes to the ASCE41 standard and the rationale behind them.


Dan Bech is a Principal at Holmes Structures in San Francisco. He has fifteen years of experience in the retrofit of existing structures, historic buildings and public projects. His areas of expertise include non-linear analysis and performance based engineering. Dan has completed over forty non-linear time history projects both in the US and in New Zealand. Dan Bech et al has published multiple papers on the steel column modeling provisions in ASCE 41-13 including suggested updates to these provisions, https://doi.org/10.1061/9780784480410.011. Dan championed the successful adoption of these recommendations into the new ASCE 41-17 standard as a member of the ASCE 41 steel subcommittee. Dan is a devoted father of two girls and an avid rock climber.




Concrete & Masonry Provision Updates

Bill Tremayne, Technical Director & Principal, Holmes Structures

The Masonry chapter has significant new provisions for spandrels, and for out-of-plane wall analysis with Life Safety criteria. New provisions for the modeling and evaluation of infill concrete and steel frames have also been developed, including interaction between in-plane and out-of-plane effects. Minor updates have been made to wall pier rocking and bed-joint sliding provisions. Miscellaneous updates have also been made to the testing, Quality Assurance and condition assessment provisions, including URM with lime-mortar and wall anchorage. The Chapter 16 Special Procedure provisions has also been significantly updated to improve alignment with the main Masonry chapter (11) and with Chapter A1 of the International Existing Building Code (IEBC.)

The Concrete chapter includes significant updates to the modeling and acceptance criteria for columns, and evaluation of reinforcing bar development and lap splices. Several updates have also been made to the shear wall modeling criteria, including default stiffness modification factors. New testing provisions have also been developed for evaluation of existing cast-in-place and post-installed anchors.

Bill is a Technical Director and Principal and Technical Director with Holmes Structures. With over sixteen years of experience, he leads the firm’s development and practice of performance based engineering, which they have successfully applied to numerous seismic evaluation, retrofit and new building projects in the Western US and New Zealand. Bill served on the main committee of ASCE 41-17 and was co-chair of the Masonry Subcommittee.






Presentation materials will be sent out electronically on November 7th. If you wish to receive a hardcopy, you must select the "Hardcopy" option when you register or email office@seaonc.org before Friday, November 3rd at 3pm. Moving forward, hard copies will only be provided to those who request it prior to the seminar. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us to reduce paper waste.

Both Seminar Dates


Before Oct 20

After Oct 20




Full Time Student






One Night Only (Night 1 or Night 2)


Before Oct 20

After Oct 20




Full Time Student










November 9th, 2017 6:00 PM   through   9:00 PM
77 Beale St
San Francisco, CA
United States
Phone: 415-974-5147
Both Nights
SEAONC/EERI/ASCE Member $ 250.00
Full Time Student $ 115.00
Non-Member $ 380.00
First Night ONLY
SEAONC/EERI/ASCE Member $ 175.00
Full Time Student $ 90.00
Non-Member $ 250.00
Second Night ONLY
SEAONC/EERI/ASCE Member $ 175.00
Full Time Student $ 90.00
Non-Member $ 250.00
I want to purchase a hardcopy $ 10.00