A Caltech Library Service

Formulating Earthquake Resistant Design Criteria

Jennings, Paul C. (1984) Formulating Earthquake Resistant Design Criteria. In: Fundamentals of Geology and Seismology for Earthquake Engineers. Earthquake Engineering Research Institute , Berkeley, CA, 4-1-4-16.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The primary function of design criteria in general, and earthquake-resistant design criteria in particular, is to restate a complex problem that has unknowns and uncertainties into an unambiguous, simplified form having no uncertainties. The design criteria should provide clearly stated guidelines for the designers. For example, when actually designing a structure, an engineer needs to know the forces and deformations that the structure should be able to resist. Some of these forces, such as dead loads imposed by gravity, are well known, but others that result from transient actions of nature or man, such as earthquake, wind or live loads, are not known. This lack of knowledge must somehow be circumvented and a precise, unambiguous statement of the design conditions must be given to the design engineer. This is accomplished by means of the design criteria. The designer also needs to know the properties of the materials and structural elements that will be used, but as these are not precisely known, mainly because of imperfections in materials and workmanship, the design criteria must also take this into account. In the preparation of the design criteria, allowance must be made for the uncertainties, and it is necessary to be cognizant of all the unknowns for which allowances must be made.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:© 1984 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. This presented is abstracted, with modifications, from the EERI Monograph "Earthquake Design Criteria" by G.W. Housner and P.C. Jennings. Seminar No. 4. Organizer: W. W. Hays. Publication No. 84-06.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141013-151814949
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50364
Deposited By: Kristin Buxton
Deposited On:13 Oct 2014 22:53
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page