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S194
Determination of Design Loads Specific for Structures in Coastal Areas

Jeffrey Havelin, PE

This course provides the design professional and others with guidance on how to determine—by calculation or graphical interpretation—the magnitude of the loads placed on a building by a particular natural hazard event or a combination of events. The calculation methods presented in this course are intended to serve as the basis of a methodology for applying the calculated loads to the building during the design process.

This course will review the procedures and formulas required to determine appropriate forces, which structures could become subjected to during hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other severe natural hazard events. The design procedures, which are required to determine site specific design loads (forces) which will be applied to the structure, is the basis of this course.

Various case studies of residential buildings will be analyzed with sample calculations demonstrating the procedures are covered in this course.

The design professional should be familiar with the pertinent sections of the IRC 2000, in addition to those sections of the IBC 2000, which may be cited within this course. Additional reference sources should also include one or more of the following sources in high wind zones. Specific sections of the code and tables have been referenced in these various sources; calculations outside of the confines of this course would require these reference materials, however the various references would not be required to complete the test for this course.

  • Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and other structures (ASCE 7-98)
  • American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) Wood Frame Construction Manual for One and Two- Family Dwellings (WFCM)
  • Southern Building Code Congress International Standard for Hurricane Resistant Residential Construction (SSTD 10)


  • In this course the design method is Allowable Stress Design (ASD), so there are factors of safety (FS) built into the development of the material stresses and the forces at the connections. This design method has been chosen because (ASD) continues to be the predominant design method in light-frame, residential, wood construction.

    The design process starts by determining all of the site-specific design loads (forces):

  • Dead loads
  • Live loads
  • Snow loads
  • Flood loads
  • Wind loads and the various components
  • Earthquake (seismic) and the various components
  • Design Flood


  • Fact:

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations state that for buildings in V zones, “a registered professional engineer or architect shall develop or review the structural design, specifications and plans for the construction, and shall certify that the design and methods of construction to be used are in accordance with accepted standards of practice” for meeting the provisions of the NFIP regulations regarding buildings in V zones.

    This course is based entirely on Chapter 11, " Determining Site Specific Loads" of the FEMA Publication- Coastal Construction Manual (FEMA-55). This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials. You will be quizzed on the subject document in its entirety.


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    NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

    AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.

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