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Seismic Safety Required for Federal Buildings

Feb. 9, 2016

Executive order mandates earthquake resiliency code compliance.

All facilities that are newly constructed, leased, or regulated by the federal government are now required to meet the earthquake safety requirements in the international Building Code and the International Residential Code per an executive order from President Obama. The order gives federal agencies 90 days after the order’s release to ensure compliance for new facilities in development. When a new version of the IBC or IRC is released by the International Code Council, agencies will then have two years to meet any updated requirements.

For existing federal buildings, the order requires the use of the Standards for Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned and Leased Buildings guidance created by the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC). Existing facilities will also have 90 days to ensure compliance, with a similar two-year window to make changes after new versions of the standards are released.

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