MKA Principal Peter Somers to Chair Seismic Rehabilitation Standards Committee

Congratulations to Principal Peter Somers, who was recently appointed Chair of the ASCE 41-29 Existing Building Standards Committee.

Peter has 30 years of experience specializing in seismic evaluations, renovations, and expansion of existing structures, including historic and landmark buildings. His renovation projects include Seattle landmarks such as the historic 5th Avenue Theater, Cobb Building, Guggenheim Hall at the University of Washington, and Roosevelt High School, the recently completed Space Needle Century Project’s seismic evaluation and retrofit, and other West Coast office projects like the 300 Lakeside Renovation and The Key at 12th in Oakland.

Somers is actively involved in structural engineering code development, particularly relative to renovation of existing buildings, contributing to or co-authoring standards and provisions for organizations such as FEMA, NEHRP, EERI, ASCE, and ATC. In addition to being a longtime member of ASCE’s Seismic Rehabilitation Standards Executive Committee, Somers is Past President of the Structural Engineers Association of Washington, a Corresponding Member of NCSEA’s Existing Building Subcommittee, and leads MKA’s Existing Buildings Technical Specialist Team.

“I am deeply honored to have been appointed chair of the ASCE/SEI Seismic Retrofit of Existing Buildings Standards Committee for the next ASCE 41 development cycle,” said Somers. “As a long-time user of the Standard and contributor to the development process, I am excited to lead the effort to produce the next state-of-the-practice technical standard for seismic evaluations and retrofits.”

“Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings,” Standard ASCE/SEI 41, describes deficiency-based and systematic procedures that use performance-based principles to evaluate and retrofit existing buildings to withstand the effects of earthquakes. The Standard was first published in 2006 and updated in 2013, 2017, and, most recently, 2023. The next update will be published in 2029, with Peter overseeing the process!

“As our understanding of earthquake risks continues to improve, as the focus on creating resilient communities expands as a public policy goal, and as the reuse of existing buildings becomes an even more important part of sustainability in the built environment, ASCE 41 remains a critical component in preserving and improving the performance of existing buildings for this and future generations.”

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