Arkansas Center for Earthquake Education and Technology Transfer


Arkansas Act 1100 (1991) - Requiring Earthquake Resistant Design

As Engrossed: 3/15191 3/26/91

State of Arkansas
78th General Assembly
Regular Session, 1991
By: Representative 0. Miller


For An Act To Be Entitled


SECTION 1. It is the purpose of this act to protect the public by requiring that all public structure be designed and constructed to resist destructive forces when an earthquake occurs in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

SECTION 2. Definitions. Whenever used in this act, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(a) "Owner" shall mean any agency of the state, county, city, township, town, village, or private entity, partnership, business or corporation.

(b) "Public Structure" means any building intended, or adaptable, for public employment, assembly, or any other use if it will be open to the public. Also included in this definition are certain building types as defined under the term "Public Works" projects.

(c) "Public Works" means works, whether of construction or adaptation, undertaken and carried out by the national, state, county, school district, or municipal authorities, and designed to serve some purpose of public necessity, use, or convenience; such as public buildings, roads, aqueducts, parks, and all other fixed works constructed for public use. The term relates to the construction of public improvements and not to their maintenance or operation.

(d) "Add to" shall mean addling to existing buildings or structures more than four thousand (4000) square feet in gross floor area and all areas of increased building height.

(e) "Alter", "retrofit", ant "remodel" means any alteration or repair of a building which when completed will increase the market value of the building by one hundred percent (100%) or more.

(f) "Seal" means the Arkansas seal issued to signify certification of registration to practice architecture or engineering.

(g) "Seismic" means pertaining to an earthquake or earth tremor (vibrations).

(h) "Structural Elements" shall mean all structural load carrying members of a building or structure required to transmit loads (forces) within the building or between the building and the ground.

SECTION 3. Seismic Zones Established. Areas within the boundaries of this State shall be divided into zones of anticipated damage that will occur in various locations, with respect to the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

(a) Zone 3. Area of greatest anticipated seismic damage shall include the following counties: Clay, Greene, Craighead, Mississippi, Poinsett, Cross, Crittenden, St. Francis, Randolph, Lawrence, Jackson, Woodruff, and Lee.

(b) Zone 2. Area of moderate anticipated seismic damage shall include the following counties: Sharp, Independence, White, Lonoke, Prairie, Arkansas, Monroe, Phillips, Fulton, Izard, Stone, and Cleburne.

(c) Zone 1. Area of low anticipated seismic damage shall include all remaining counties within the boundaries of this State.

SECTION 4. Design Requirements. Hereafter, neither the state, any county, city, township, village or private entity shall construct, add to, alter, retrofit, or remodel any public structure unless the structural elements are designed to resist the anticipated forces of the designated seismic zone in which the structure is located. Design loads and seismic design requirements shall be, as a minimum, those listed in the chapter of Minimum Design Loads and Referenced Chapters from the Standard Building Code, 1988 or latest edition with revisions.

All construction plans for public buildings and structures shall comply with Arkansas Code 17-14-101 through 17-14-311. The design of structural elements of public buildings and structures shall be performed by a professional engineer registered in the State of Arkansas who is competent in seismic structural design according to current standards of technical competence. The structural plans of each public building or structure shall bear the Engineer's Arkansas seal and signature and a statement of reference to what Seismic Zone the structure is designed to satisfy.

SECTION 5. Exemptions. Certain building types such as single family residential, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and agricultural structures shall not be included in the requirements of this act.

SECTION 6. Violations and Penalties. Any owner knowingly constructing a public building within this State after September 1, 1991, without complying with the provisions of this act shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and shall upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1000). Each day of such unlawful construction practice shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.

SECTION 7. All provisions of this act of a general and permanent nature are amendatory to the Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated and the Arkansas Code Revision Commission shall incorporate the same in the Code.

SECTION 8. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.

SECTION 9. All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed.

/s/O. Miller

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