FEMA 454?



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    David Kaplan


    I strongly recommend reading both Chapters 4 and 5 in full, but if are looking to reduce your study efforts - go with Chapter 5 if you must.  Chapter 4 gives a good overview of the structural concepts behind the effects of earthquakes on buildings.  Chapter 5 goes more in depth of how we can design our buildings to resist them.  It shows how buildings react to earthquakes, how we can "stiffen" them up, and how we should work with our engineers to locate shear-resisting members in our building without necessarily having to sacrifice our design.  I found it to be easy reading that was clear and had great diagrams, I don't think you'll be sorry if you read both chapters.  I'm not sure who first recommended this source, but I'm glad they did.  The diagrams and photographs of failed buildings are really, really good. 

    I read it for the first time for PPD and found it to be helpful.  For PDD, the only reason I had read it again was because I had seen a post on here that someone had a few earthquake questions on their test.  I personally did not have many at all, but, I am glad that I read it.

    At the end of the day, whatever you read, know about lateral forces - wind and earthquakes.  If you want to cover this in Ballast or some other guide - great, go for it.  Focus on the concepts, ignore anything too detailed and calculation-related.  We don't need to calculate the base shear of a building anymore - that's 4.0 world.  I also read an old 2010 Ballast study guide for wind and earthquake design - it was helpful. 

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    Daniel Cancilla


    I personally believe that Chapters 7 and 8 are worth a quick skim as well. 

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    Jonathan Chertok

    hi david,
    i’ve been reading your posts and was going to reach out independently and say what a great resource they are. also the common sense and practical guidance is invaluable. kudos and thanks.
    same to daniel. i will add chapter 7 and 8. i have nothing against spending some time in architecture reading. if it will help me pass the exam so much the better.
    THANKS and regards

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    Jonathan Chertok

    oh, just out of curiousity - does anyone know where this information is complemented in the ‘official’ references? is it also in the ambrose book? elsewhere?

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