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SEAOC/NCSEA Webinar Series: Seismic Design of Nonstructural Components and Systems

The Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) and NCSEA have teamed up to deliver a brand new Web-Based Seminar Series for you on the seismic design of nonstructural components and systems. This web-based Seismic Design Seminar will be delivered in two 1.5 hour webinars over two weeks presented by some of the industry’s experts on nonstructural seismic design.

This seminar is critical to practicing structural engineers, designers, building department engineers, plan review agencies, professors and students from across the nation as you can all learn about the design of nonstructural components and systems and their importance to the resilience of buildings and the communities that use them to recover from significant seismic events .

Nonstructural components and contents typically make up about 80% of a building construction cost. They also have a significant role in the livability of the building space, the life cycle costs of the building’s operations, and the resiliency of the communities that live, work, shop, and play in these spaces in recovering from disasters such as large earthquakes. Thus, the design of these elements and their supports is a critical part of the building design process. However, the design of nonstructural components to resist seismic forces can be an intricate and complex process that is unfamiliar to many structural engineers. Inadequate design of nonstructural components can lead to failures that result in unnecessarily high repair or replacement costs even in moderate earthquakes. Adding to the complexity is the fact that nonstructural component seismic design is an evolving field of structural engineering with numerous research projects being undertaken every year which then inform code provision updates and common practices. Also, the design and specification of nonstructural components often happens after the major decisions for the building’s structural system have already been made. However, many of the decisions made in the early phases of the structural design can facilitate or significantly complicate the design of the nonstructural components. Proper nonstructural component seismic design is crucial for both protecting life safety and realizing a resilient future.

This webinar series will provide an overview of the many facets of the design and construction of nonstructural components. It will feature presentations that discuss the following topics:

  • The importance of nonstructural components to the overall resiliency of a building;
  • Illustrations of how nonstructural components perform in earthquakes;
  • Discussion on how engineering judgment developed from these observations plays a vital role in designing nonstructural components;
  • A summary of current code design requirements, highlighting the difference between designing to protect life safety and designing for post-disaster functionality;
  • Discussion on the process for delegated design and the importance of coordination;
  • Review of how early building design decisions can impact the design of the nonstructural systems, highlighting the synergy between the design of the structure and the design of the nonstructural components;
  • Discussion on how the synergy between the structural design and the nonstructural design applies to the design of nonstructural components within existing buildings;
  • A deeper dive into the design process for curtain walls and distribution systems, using design examples to illustrate the importance of coordination and delegating responsibilities, as well as a step-by-step review of design procedures.

The registration fee for the Seminar is $395 for members ($500 for nonmembers), which includes all 3 hours of education. Each individual webinar can be purchased separately for $250 for members ($300 for nonmembers).
  • Purchase both webinars in the Seminar and have access to the recordings for 1 Year.
  • Each seminar purchase is per office location. If your firm is operating remotely, contact NCSEA at on how to accommodate multiple users from the same location.
Please note: These webinars are not included in the NCSEA Webinar Subscription.

Schedule of Events
Seismic Design of Nonstructural Components and Systems, presented by Maryann Phipps, S.E., F.SEAOC; Senior Principal and Chairperson of the Board, EStructure; Member, National Academy of Engineering
Delegated Design and the Importance of Coordination, presented by Solmaz Jumakuliyeva, P.E.; Design Engineer, EStructure; Chair of SEAONC Seismology Nonstructural Components Subcommittee

Project Planning for Nonstructural Components and Systems, presented by Tim Hart, SE, F.SEAOC; Lead Civil/Structural Engineer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Design Procedures and Considerations for Curtain Walls and Distribution Systems, presented by Meaghan Halligan, SE; Corporate Engineering Manager Grid Systems and Principal Structural Engineer for Northern California, ISAT Total Support

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