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Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of Hospitals

Steven G. Liescheidt, P.E., CCS, CCPR

Course Outline

This three hour online course discusses the greatest earthquake risk is associated with existing hospital buildings that were designed and constructed before the use of modern building codes. For many parts of the United States, this includes buildings built as recently as the early 1990s. Although vulnerable hospital buildings need to be replaced with safe, new construction or rehabilitated to correct deficiencies, for some healthcare organizations new construction is limited, at times severely, by budgetary constraints, and seismic rehabilitation is expensive and disruptive. However, incremental seismic rehabilitation, an innovative approach that phases in a series of discrete rehabilitation actions over a period of several years, is an effective, affordable, and non-disruptive strategy for responsible mitigation action.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will learn about:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for mechanical and structural engineers.

Benefit for Attendee

Attendee of this course will be able to better understand the critical decisions required for the design of earthquake safety in hospitals including planning and managing the process for earthquake risk management in existing hospital buildings.

Course Introduction

The manual used in this course provides healthcare organizations with the information necessary to assess the seismic vulnerability of their buildings and to implement a program of incremental seismic rehabilitation for those buildings. The manual consists of three parts: Critical Decisions for Earthquake Safety in Hospitals; Planning and Managing the Process for Earthquake Risk Reduction in Existing Hospital Buildings and Tools for Implementing Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation in Existing Hospital Buildings.

Course Content

This course is primarily based on Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of Hospital Buildings, FEMA 396, December 2003:

Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of Hospitals


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Course Summary

This course is intended to assist engineers and healthcare organization personnel responsible for the funding and operation of existing hospital facilities across the United States. Healthcare organizations face a wide array of risks. Earthquakes are low-probability high-consequence events. Although they may occur only once in the life of a building, they can have devastating, irreversible consequences. Failure to address earthquake risk leaves the healthcare organization exposed to potential losses, disruption, and liability for deaths and injuries.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites:

Federal Emergency Management Agency –
American Society of Civil Engineers –
Vibration Isolation & Seismic Control Manufacturers –


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.