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Supporting Document for Rehabilitation Cost Estimates of FEMA Existing Buildings



Hai S. Lew


This report presents the results of seismic evaluation and cost estimates carried out by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for rehabilitation of existing buildings owned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The seismic evaluation and rehabilitation cost estimates were carried out in response to Executive Order 12941, Seismic Safety of Federally Owned or Leased Buildings. The seismic evaluation was performed based on ICSSC RP4, Standards of Seismic Safety for Existing Federally Owned or Leased Buildings and Commentary, and FEMA 178, NEHRP Handbook for the Seismic Evaluation of Existing Buildings. Rehabilitation costs were estimated using FEMA 156 and 157, Typical Costs for Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings, Second Edition, Volumes 1 and 2. FEMA owns 137 building. Of these, 125 buildings are located in Maryland and Virginia (low seismic regions). Ten buildings were selected for evaluation, of which seven are located in Maryland and Virginia, two in Massachusetts (moderate seismic region), and one in Washington (high seismic region).All sites where the 10 buildings are located were visited by the NIST team. None of these buildings has a complete set of architectural and structural drawings, particularly old buildings such as those at the Emmittsburg, Maryland site. For those buildings which are judged to have deficiencies according to the checklist in FEMA 178, additional analyses were carried out to determine whether the structures are adequate for life safety. If passed for life safety evaluation, the structure is judged to have no deficiencies.Rehabilitation costs for the non-evaluated buildings were derived from the rehabilitation costs of the evaluated buildings. The location of a building is considered in the estimation of the rehabilitation cost. The cost estimates are also adjusted to 1998. The rehabilitation costs include structural, non-structural, finishing and administration costs. The total estimated rehabilitation cost for the FEMA buildings is $13,910,000.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6315
Report Number


building, building technology, costs, evaluation, existing, rehabilitation, seismic damage, structural performance, survey


Lew, H. (1999), Supporting Document for Rehabilitation Cost Estimates of FEMA Existing Buildings, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 21, 2024)


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Created March 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017