The release of the newly updated ASCE/SEI 7-22 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures

Updated and released every six years, ASCE 7 is the Society’s most widely used professional standard and a critical tool in a civil engineer’s commitment to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.

“ASCE 7 is essential to the profession,” said J.G. (Greg) Soules, Ph.D., P.E., S.E., P.Eng, F.SEI, F.ASCE, senior principal structural engineer for CB&I and vice chair of the ASCE 7-22 Committee.

“And it all has to do with the safety of the public. That’s our driving focus.”

The 2022 edition, which supersedes ASCE/SEI 7-16, provides up-to-date and coordinated loading provisions for general structural design. The standard prescribes design loads for all hazards including dead, live, soil, flood, tsunami, snow, rain, atmospheric ice, seismic, wind, and fire, as well as how to evaluate load combinations.

“For more than 20 years, U.S. building codes have relied on the ASCE 7 standard as the authoritative source for specification of loads and related criteria used by engineers to design safe, economical, and reliable structures,” said Ronald Hamburger, P.E., S.E., F.SEI, senior principal with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. and chair of the ASCE 7-22 Committee.

The 2022 edition includes first-ever criteria for tornado-resistant design.

“Tornadoes previously were beyond the probabilities we normally design for,” said Soules, who has worked on the ASCE 7 Committee for 25 years. “But more study was done, and we found that tornadoes were undercounted to the point where they should now be considered. We’re not designing tornado shelters with ASCE 7; we’re simply designing for somewhat higher wind loads in certain regions of the country. But it is important to do.”

The new update also draws on new models for more accurate snow loads and includes a new multipoint seismic spectrum for certain soft-soil sites. ASCE 7-22 now requires use of digital data uniquely identified in hazard-specific geodatabases for all environmental hazards. The digital data is available via open access from the ASCE 7 Hazard Tool.

“Every six years, hundreds of volunteer professional civil and structural engineers, researchers, building officials, and construction professionals collaborate to update the standard, acknowledging new engineering research, evolving construction techniques, and society’s changing expectations and concerns,” Hamburger said.

The print version of ASCE 7-22 is available as a two-volume paperback set or as a PDF.

Additionally, the ASCE 7 Online subscription service provides digital access to ASCE/SEI 7-22, as well as to the previous 2016 and 2010 editions, with enhanced features that include side-by-side display of the provisions and commentary, redlining to track changes between editions, and real-time updates of supplements and errata.

For more information, email asce7tools@asce.org.

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