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Siamak Sattar, Christopher Segura, Katherine Johnson, Therese P. McAllister, Steven McCabe


For typical residential and commercial buildings, the intent of buildings codes is to protect building occupants against life-threatening actions while providing some degree of property protection during natural hazard events. As a result, new and existing buildings may sustain extensive damage during natural hazards such that building functions are degraded or lost. Widespread building damage in a community can have severe social and economic impacts. The U.S. Senate tasked NIST with identifying research needs and implementation activities to develop a multi-hazard immediate occupancy (IO) performance objective for commercial and residential buildings. With input from subject matter experts and stakeholders participating in a national workshop, NIST developed a report that describes research areas and implementation activities to fulfill the Congressional mandate. The content of the report is organized around four topic areas: enhancing building design, addressing community considerations, ascertaining social and economic issues, and identifying acceptance and adoption considerations that require further reflection. This paper discusses crosscutting themes that apply to all four topic areas and which will need to be addressed to advance research and implementation activities for IO. These crosscutting themes define general activities that are vital to the development of research tools, design standards, and educational tools needed to study the impacts of, and design for, IO. The paper also highlights key challenges in implementing IO performance objectives; these challenges focus mainly on social, economic, and policy related issues that can support the successful adoption of IO objectives by the public.
Proceedings Title
17th U.S.-Japan-New Zealand Workshop
Conference Dates
November 12-14, 2018
Conference Location
Queenstown, NZ
Conference Title
17th U.S.-Japan-New Zealand Workshop on the Improvement of Structural Engineering and Resilience


Immediate Occupancy


Sattar, S. , Segura, C. , Johnson, K. , McAllister, T. and McCabe, S. (2018), KEY CHALLENGES AND CROSSCUTTING RESEARCH THEMES FOR DEVELOPING AN IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVE, 17th U.S.-Japan-New Zealand Workshop, Queenstown, NZ, [online], (Accessed April 12, 2024)
Created November 11, 2018, Updated April 14, 2022