Existing Structures Evaluation According to Previous and Present Building Codes
Pontón Álvarez, Wigberto
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Over 95% of the structures in service in Puerto Rico were designed by derogated codes. All major hospitals, bridges, many schools and government structures were designed with the 1997 Puerto Rico Building Code and older codes. Actually, the 2009 International Building Code, with amendments, is the official Design Code for Puerto Rico substituting the 1997 Uniform Building Code a few years ago. The International Building Code has been used to determine loads in the past decade and is the governing code of building construction in many jurisdictions in the United States. The structural engineer has to be familiar with previous codes in order to evaluate existing structures in comparison to the requirements of new codes. In this paper, a comparison of the 1987 Puerto Rico Building Code, the1997 Uniform Building Code, the 2009 International Building Code and actual cases of existing structures will be presented.