A new publication from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) provides a broad understanding of earthquakes and how they affect buildings.

The new publication, Facts for Steel Buildings Number 3: Earthquakes and Seismic Design, gives readers a basic understanding of earthquake engineering and the U.S. buildings codes designed to prevent catastrophe, says a news release from the AISC.

The AISC writes the specification for seismic design of steel buildings in the U.S.

The publication is available as a free download at www.aisc.org/facts.

Written by Ronald O. Hamburger of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., the publication presents an overview of the causes of earthquakes, how quakes damage structures, structural properties that minimize quake damage, and the organization and intent of seismic design requirements for steel structures in the U.S. It also looks at the future of seismic design.

Hamburger chairs the AISC committee responsible for prequalifying moment connections for use in high-seismic applications. He’s a past president of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations and played a key leadership role in the post-Northridge, Calif., earthquake research that helped to create current seismic design standards.