49 CFR 41.120 - Acceptable model codes.

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§ 41.120 Acceptable model codes.

(a) This section describes the standards that must be used to meet the seismic design and construction requirements of this part.


(1) The following are model codes which have been found to provide a level of seismic safety substantially equivalent to that provided by use of the 1988 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Recommended Provisions (Copies are available from the Office of Earthquakes and Natural Hazards, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW., Washington, DC 20472.):

(i) The 1991 International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) Uniform Building Code, published by the International Conference of Building Officials, 5360 South Workman Mill Rd., Whittier, Cal. 90601;

(ii) The 1992 Supplement to the Building Officials and Code Administrators International (BOCA) National Building Code, published by the Building Officials and Code Administrators, 4051 West Flossmoor Rd., Country Club Hills, Ill. 60478-5795; and

(iii) The 1992 Amendments to the Southern Building Code Congress (SBCC) Standard Building Code, published by the Southern Building Code Congress International, 900 Montclair Rd., Birmingham, Ala. 35213-1206.

(2) Versions of the NEHRP seismic maps have been adopted along with the NEHRP Recommended Provisions into the BOCA National and SBCC Standard building codes. The seismic zone map in the ICBO Uniform Building Code is also based on one of the USGS maps of horizontal ground acceleration. However, the ICBO map should be used only with the ICBO code. Also, it is not appropriate to use the NEHRP maps with the ICBO Uniform Building Code, because the design requirements of building codes are keyed to the numerical values of the map they reference.

(c) Revisions to the model codes listed in paragraph (b) of this section that are substantially equivalent to or exceed the then current or immediately preceding edition of the NEHRP recommended provisions, as it is updated, may be approved by a DOT Operating Administration to meet the requirements in this part.

(d) State, county, local, or other jurisdictional building ordinances adopting and enforcing the model codes, listed in paragraph (b) of this section, in their entirety, without significant revisions or changes in the direction of less seismic safety, meet the requirements in this part. For ordinances that do not adopt the model codes listed in paragraph (b) of this section, substantial equivalency of the ordinances to the seismic safety level contained in the NEHRP recommended provisions must be determined by the DOT Operating Administration before the ordinances may be used to meet the requirements of this part.

(e) DOT Operating Administrations that, as of January 5, 1990, required seismic safety levels higher than those imposed by this part in new building construction programs will continue to maintain such levels in force.

(f) Emergencies. Nothing in this part applies to assistance provided for emergency work or for assistance essential to save lives and protect property and public health and safety performed pursuant to sections 402, 403, 502, and 503 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act), 42 U.S.C. 5170a, 5170b, 5192, and 5193, or for temporary housing assistance programs and individual and family grants performed pursuant to Sections 408 and 411 of the Stafford Act, 42 U.S.C. 5174 and 5178. However, this part applies to other provisions of the Stafford Act after a Presidentially declared major disaster or emergency when assistance actions involve new construction or total replacement of a building.