FEMA 397 Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation of Office Buildings  


This manual provides owners of office buildings, be they Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), pension funds, partnerships, individuals, or other forms of ownership, 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:

Part A, Critical Decisions for Earthquake Safety in Office Buildings, is for owner senior executives, board members, and policy makers who will decide on allocating resources for earthquake mitigation

Part B, Planning and Managing the Process for Earthquake Risk Reduction in Existing Office Buildings, is for facility managers, risk managers, and financial managers, or those responsible for these areas of management, who will initiate and manage seismic mitigation measures.

Part C, Tools for Implementing Incremental Seismic Rehabilitation in Existing Office Buildings, is for facility managers, or those otherwise responsible for facility management, who will implement incremental seismic rehabilitation programs.

To get the most out of this manual:

  • Communicate the importance of assessing your building inventory’s risks and pass this manual on to staff members responsible for facility management, risk management, and financial planning. Specify that they develop an analysis of the current seismic risk of your buildings and a strategy for risk reduction
  • Promptly initiate a program of earthquake risk reduction in your buildings located in an earthquake-prone zone that were not designed and constructed to meet modern building codes
  • Consider incremental seismic rehabilitation as a cost-effective means to protect the buildings and, most importantly, the safety of tenants, visitors, and staff, because it is a technically and financially manageable strategy that minimizes disruption of office building operations