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D6.  RAPID VISUAL SCREENING (RVS)

 

The "Rapid Visual Screening" spreadsheet accessed by the link below has been constructed exclusively for this website, and is intended to provide a way to use a computer instead of filling in the FEMA 154 paper and pencil-based form called the "Data Collection Form" in that volume. 

To obtain a free copy of the updated (2002) version of FEMA 154 Click Here (FEMA 155, the Supporting Documentation is only available from www.FEMA.gov as a printed copy that can be ordered for free).  There are also other publications at accessed from that same page that may be of use.

This spreadsheet has been developed as a data collection tool so that it (1) requires no special software other than a Microsoft-Excel compatible spreadsheet program mounted on a PC or a Macintosh, and (2) is completely transparent with full opportunity for the user to add or change the modification factors to suit local conditions.  As is the Data Collection Form on which this spreadsheet is based, this spreadsheet is meant to be able to be modified by a local authority or any other user to reflect the needs and special circumstances that may exist locally, subject to the caveats explained below.

The spreadsheet is divided into two parts.  The first tab brings one to the "Master-2002 Factors"  This is followed by the series of tabs for each building type. The methodology for using the spreadsheet is to first select the building type for the subject facility, then to fill in each attribute that is true with a "1".  If it is not true, mark a "0", and if not applicable or unknown, do not mark anything.  The total at the bottom is the function of the addition of the original score and all the modification factors that are automatically selected by marking "1" in the relevant boxes.

To download RAPID VISUAL SCREENING spreadsheet, RIGHT-CLICK here, then select "SAVE TARGET AS" to place it on your hard drive in a location of your choice.  (For Macintosh users, "option-click" serves the same function.)

(You must have Microsoft Excel or a compatible program such as Open Office (a free set of Office programs) on your computer to use this document.)

During the Data Collection Form review process, it is critically important that the Basic Structural Hazard Scores and Score Modifiers, which are described in detail in Chapter 3 in FEMA 154, not be changed without input from professional engineers familiar with earthquake-resistant design and chief building official, plan checkers, and other design professionals experienced in seismic design to identify the years in which the affected jurisdiction initially adopted and enforced seismic codes (if ever) for the building lateral-force-resisting structural systems considered by the RVS procedure. Since municipal codes are generally adopted by the city council, another source for this information, in many municipalities, is the city clerk's office. In addition to determining the year in which seismic codes were initially adopted and enforced, the user should also determine (1) the benchmark years in which substantially improved seismic codes were adopted and enforced for the various lateral-load-resisting systems and (2) the year in which anchorage requirements for cladding were adopted and enforced. These dates should be inserted on the Quick Reference Guide (Appendix B) that has been created to facilitate the use of the Data Collection Form (see Figure 2-3).

During the Data Collection Form review process, it is critically important that the Basic Structural Hazard Scores and Score Modifiers, which are described in detail in Chapter 3, not be changed without input from professional engineers familiar with earthquake-resistant design and chief building official, plan checkers, and other design professionals experienced in seismic design to identify the years in which the affected jurisdiction initially adopted and enforced seismic codes (if ever) for the building lateral-force-resisting structural systems considered by the RVS procedure. Since municipal codes are generally adopted by the city council, another source for this information, in many municipalities, is the city clerk's office.

An S score of 2 is suggested as a "cut-off", based on present seismic design criteria. Using this cut-off level, buildings having an S score of 2 or less should be investigated by a design professional experienced in seismic design (see Section 3.9, 4.1 and 4.2 of FEMA 154 (2002 edition) for additional information on this issue).  Determination of Cut-Off Score Use of the RVS on a community-wide basis enables the user to divide screened buildings into two categories: those that are expected to have acceptable seismic performance, and those that may be seismically hazardous and should be studied further. This requires that the user to determine, preferably as part of the pre-planning process, an appropriate "cut-off" score.

 


The Master sheet contains the following headings not included in the building type tab because they do not have factors in the FEMA 154 Data Collection Form.  They are included in the Master because they are elements that should also be considered in the data collection process.  It will be up to the user to determine how the information in these categories will influence the results determined from the spreadsheet as a whole.

UPGRADE PRIORITY & USE
Building is listed as Nationally important Historic Monument
Building qualifies for National Register of Historic Places.
Occupied day & night / or by large numbers of people / or by children.
Critical Facility (Fire-Police-Emergency room, etc.)
Large Heavy Cladding
Many large heavy stone or concrete panels.
Pounding
Floor levels of adjacent buildings not aligned and less than 4" of separation at each story.
BENEFITS
1) Mid-block location (with party walls) [NEED FACTOR]
2) Seismic Upgrade work already carried out [NEED VARIABLE FACTOR BASED ON WORK]
 

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Randolph Langenbach

M-Arch (Harvard), Dipl.Conservation (York, England)


FAX: 801-730-1616

Writings and photographs found on this website is Randolph Langenbach and other authors. For use permission, write to the address above.

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