Standard Guide for the Estimation of Building Damageability in Earthquakes
1.1 Purpose-This guide defines and establishes good commercial, customary practice, and standard-of-care in the United States for conducting a probabilistic study of expected loss to buildings from damage associated with earthquakes and for the preparation of a narrative report containing the results of the study. As such, this guide permits a user to satisfy, in part, their real estate transactional due-diligence requirements with respect to assessing a property's potential for building losses associated with earthquakes.
1.1.1 Recognized Earthquake Hazards-Hazards addressed in this guide include earthquake ground shaking, earthquake caused sit instability, including faulting, land sliding, and densification, and earthquake caused tsunamis and seiches. Earthquake caused fires and toxic materials releases are not considered.
1.1.2 Other Federal, State, and Local Laws and Regulations-This guide does not address requirements of any federal, state, or local laws and regulations of building construction or maintenance. Users are cautioned that current federal, state, and local laws and regulations may differ from those in effect at the time of the original construction of the building(s).
1.2 Objectives-The objectives for this guide are as follows:
1.2.1 To synthesize and document good commercial, customary practices for the estimation of probable loss to buildings from earthquakes for real estate improvements;
1.2.2 To facilitate standardized estimation of probable losses to buildings from earthquakes;
1.2.3 To ensure that the standard of site observations, document review and research is appropriate, practical, sufficient, and reasonable for such an estimation;
1.2.4 To establish what reasonably can be expected of and delivered by a loss estimator in conducting an estimation of probable loss to buildings from earthquakes;
1.2.5 To establish an industry standard for appropriate observations and analysis in an effort to guide legal interpretation of the standard of care to be exercised for the conducting of an estimation of probable loss to buildings from earthquakes; and,
1.2.6 To establish the requirement that a loss estimator communicates observations, opinions, and conclusions in a manner meaningful to the user and not misleading either by content or by omission.
1.3 Considerations beyond this scope-The use of this guide is limited strictly to the scope set forth herein. Section 3 of this guide identifies, for information purposes, certain conditions that may exist on a property that are beyond the scope of this guide but may warrant consideration by the parties to a real estate transaction.
1.4 Organization of this guide-This guide has several parts (see Table of Contents).
1.5 Limitations-This guide does not purport to provide for the preservation of life safety, or prevention of building damage associated with its use, or both. It is the responsibility of the user of this guide to establish appropriate life safety and damage prevention practices and determine the applicability of current regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.6 Commentary-See Appendix X1 for commentary on Section 1.
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