Designers and fabricators can now access the most comprehensive information for performance-based seismic design with the 3rd Edition AISC Seismic Design Manual, now available at This new edition of the manual has been expanded with additional information and design aids to help engineers navigate the design of steel and composite seismic resisting systems (SFRS). It includes discussion and practical guidance on applying the latest versions of AISC’s core standards–the 2016 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 360), 2016 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 341), 2016 Prequalified Connections for Special and Intermediate Steel Moment Frames for Seismic Applications (ANSI/AISC 358) and the 15th Edition Steel Construction Manual. Produced as a high-quality, vinyl softcover, the new edition is being offered at $100 for AISC members ($200 for non-members).

“The new AISC Seismic Design Manual provides engineers with useful tools, detailed examples and extensive explanation to facilitate the design of structures complying with the AISC 341 Seismic Provisions,” explained Rafael Sabelli, chair of the AISC seismic manual subcommittee and director of seismic design at Walter P Moore. “AISC brought together a team of dedicated volunteers, including experts in structural and connection design and developers of the seismic provisions, to develop this manual and ensure its utility for practicing engineers.”

The new edition contains more than 60 examples that demonstrate how to design the key members and connections for the most commonly used SFRS. The examples go beyond just seismic-specific checks to also demonstrate the full design, limit state by limit state. The manual is a valuable resource not only for those who design in the seismic world, but for anyone interested in learning the procedures used for designing members, connections and systems.

“One of the goals of the AISC Seismic Manual is to be a valuable resource for all building design engineers, including those who infrequently do seismic design,” noted Mark Holland, chairman of the AISC committee on manuals and chief engineer at Paxton & Vierling Steel Co. “Users will find it well organized, complete, accurate, and a very useful tool.”

Some of the major updates in the new edition include:

  • Part 1 now includes a sample set of plan and detail drawings showing how the designer can indicate the seismic force-resisting system to the steel fabricator and erector. The tables in this part also incorporate the latest in larger rolled steel shapes and high-strength steel grades as they are permitted in various seismic applications.
  • Design examples have been developed in Part 4 for special moment frame (SMF) systems to reflect updates to the Seismic Provisions. These examples provide guidance for bracing a beam in a moment frame, designing a bolted flange plate connection and designing a special truss moment frame system.
  • The new design examples in Part 5 address multi-tiered ordinary concentric braced frames and connection design for buckling-restrained braced frames. The Seismic Provisions updates to ordinary and special composite shear wall systems are reflected in Part 7.
  • Part 9 of the manual contains the AISC standards, 2016 Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (ANSI/AISC 341-16) and Prequalified Connections for Special and Intermediate Moment Frames for Seismic Applications (ANSI/AISC 358-16). These standards represent the latest innovations in engineering research, design and construction of steel buildings in seismic regions. In the 2016 Seismic Provisions, the inclusion of provisions for multi-tiered braced frames addresses a common seismic system for single-story and multi-story industrial building structures. Allowing the use of partial-joint-penetration (PJP) groove welds in the column splices of SMFs reduces the efforts of both fabrication and erection during construction of these seismic systems. Further clarifications in the requirements for continuity plates and web doubler plates in SMF panel zones reduce material congestion and minimize the cost of this reinforcement where it is required.

“This is a resource that all design engineers should have on their desk,” added Cynthia Duncan, AISC director of engineering. “There is a chapter on R = 3 systems, as well as coverage of most types of steel seismic-force resisting systems included in the Seismic Provisions. There are more than 800 pages of comprehensive design examples demonstrating how to apply the provisions to the various systems from analysis to member and connection design.”

The 2016 Seismic Provisions and Prequalified Connections documents, along with all other AISC standards, are available for free download at

Furthermore, designers can visit the technical resources page that is specific to seismic applications at A number of other useful resources that supplement the use of the Seismic Design Manual and the Steel Construction Manual are available at AISC also posts archival NASCC conference proceedings, many of which are on the topic of seismic design, at