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Seismic Design Guidelines

A steering committee is being established by the Applied Technology Council to oversee and guide a recently initiated effort funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop performance-based seismic design guidelines. The ATC-58 project will consider and build on the FEMA-349 report, Action Plan for Performance-Based Seismic Design, which was developed by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in 2000 and proposes a 10-year, multi-million dollar research and development plan to create and implement comprehensive performance-based seismic design guidelines for both new and existing construction. It is anticipated that the project products will include structural performance products, nonstructural performance products, risk management products, performance-based seismic design guidelines, and a stakeholders guide. Contact: ATC-58 Project, ATC, 555 Twin Dolphin Dr., Ste. 550, Redwood City, CA 94065 (fax: 650/593-2320).

New Head of Brazilian Standards Organization

Dr. Francisco F. Sanz Esteban has been elected the new president of the Brazilian Association of Technical Standards (ABNT). He succeeds the former president, Jayme Ferreira Brandão Jr., who passed away in late June 2001. In addition to his duties at ABNT, Sanz Esteban is the director of FIESP (Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo); he is a former president of various businesses, an ex-member of ABNT’s board of directors, and a consultant on several modernization projects within ABNT.

China Inaugurates New Commission on Standardization

A new State Commission for Administration of Standardization (also known as the State Standardization Administration) has been launched in Beijing, China. State Councilor Wu Yi, on behalf of the State Council, reports that the new Commission will “provide unified leadership over standardization work in the country.” The new organization is authorized to excise administrative functions and take charge of the country’s administration of standardization work. It will also be responsible for drafting and revising national standards for products. Chinese standardization was previously administered by the former state quality and technical supervision bureau. (SOURCE: USITO Heads-Up, an ad-hoc, e-mail based notice of developments in China’s IT sector. For more information contact Daniel Brody, managing director of USITO (phone: +(8610) 6465-1540).)

NACLA Spring Workshop

The National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA) will present a forum on Laboratory Accreditation on April 8-9 in Arlington, Va. The forum, to be held in conjunction with the NACLA Annual Meeting, will address the latest development in all areas of lab accreditation both nationally and internationally, as well as the direction in which accreditation is headed. The preliminary list of program subjects includes such topics as interpretations and implementation of ISO/IEC 17025, preparing for 17025 assessment, the impact of dual U. S. accreditation systems, the role of regional cooperations, the use of key performance indicators in assessment, and the challenge of measurement uncertainty. Complete program details and official registration forms are available on the NACLA Web site. Contact: Kathy Woods.

BEES Is Coming

The newest (3.0) version of BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software program will be available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology this spring. The program helps the construction industry select cost-effective green building products. BEES measures life-cycle environmental and economic performance for 65 generic building products; the newest version will add performance measures for specific brands. //

Copyright 2002, ASTM