The Stanford Seismic Design Guidelines (for Engineers & Architects) serve as a supplement to the Department of Project Management’s Project Delivery Process, and was developed in collaboration with theSeismic Advisory Committee (SAC), a committee within LBRE that supports the University’s seismic program and helps assure consistency in the application of the guidelines on Stanford projects. The use of these guidelines is directed, but not limited, to consulting engineers and architects involved in the design of new campus buildings and renovations requiring approval by the Stanford Board of Trustees or as recommended by the Office of the Vice President for Land, Buildings and Real Estate.

In 1987, Stanford adopted a performance-based design approach to seismic engineering in recognition of the potential consequences of a major earthquake in Northern California. While the design of campus buildings must meet the minimum life safety provisions prescribed by code, performance-based design provides an added measure of structural design analysis to help achieve specific performance goals and to ensure that the design of campus buildings keeps pace with the most current knowledge base of seismic engineering and testing.

A key part of performance-based design at Stanford incorporates the use of Structural Design Peer Review early in the design process and through the finalization of construction documents. The peer reviewer reports to Stanford’s project manager and assists the engineer of record in ensuring that the latest seismic engineering practices are addressed, that viable alternative options are explored, and that the design detailing is comprehensive and sound. SAC oversees and facilitates the implementation of the peer review process for LBRE.

Stanford’s fundamental goal for these guidelines is to ensure that each building’s evaluation and design reaches its prescribed level of seismic performance while at the same time controlling construction cost. The challenge of achieving Stanford’s performance goals within approved budgets is facilitated by the design of buildings with little or no lateral system irregularities as defined by seismic codes. Design engineers and architects must address these considerations when proposing structural design options to Stanford.
Because codes and practices are continually evolving, the content of this document will be periodically
annotated. Users of the guidelines should check the DPM website to ensure they are using the most up-to-date version, and to consult with SAC when codes are in transition.

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