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Performance-Based Earthquake Design of Buildings and Structures

COURSE NO: S02-013
Performance-Based Earthquake Design of Buildings and Structures
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides the fundamentals of performance-based design of buildings. It defines and discusses different target performance levels for structural elements (such as, wood, metal and concrete diaphragms, frames and walls), non-structural elements (such as, stairs, fire escapes, partitions, cladding, glazing, light fixtures, fire alarms, plumbing, fire sprinkler systems, doors, file cabinets, book shelves), elevators and mechanical/electrical equipment. Structural analysis and design to achieve different performance levels would be the subject of future courses.


Performance-based earthquake design goes beyond code requirements. The primary function of performance-based seismic design is the ability to achieve a building design that will reliably perform in a prescribed manner (that is not to exceed specified levels of damage) under different levels of earthquakes. The fact that alternative levels of building performance are being defined and can be chosen as performance objectives is a relatively new concept in seismic design and is the basis of performance-based seismic design.


This 2 PDH online course is intended for civil and structural engineers interested in gaining a better understanding of performance-based earthquake design of buildings and structures.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understanding the objectives of performance-based earthquake design
  • Understanding the differences between building codes and performance-based earthquake design
  • Learning about the different levels of Building Performance Objectives (Operational, Immediate Occupancy, Life Safety, Collapse Prevention)
  • Understanding the damage of structural and non-structural elements at different performance levels
  • Understanding the damage of equipment (elevators, computers and HVAC) at different performance levels
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course you need to review Chapter 4, "Performance-Based Engineering: An Emerging Concept in Seismic Design" of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Report titled "Primer for Design Professionals: Communicating with Owners and Managers of New Buildings on Earthquake Risk (FEMA-389)".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Performance-Based Earthquake Design of Buildings and Structures (2.0 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 2 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on Chapter 4 of this FEMA publication.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: