In September 1995 the SAC Joint Venture received funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to address both immediate and long-term needs related to solving performance problems with welded, steel moment-frame connections discovered following the 1994 Northridge, California earthquake. The Recommended Specifications and Quality Assurance Guidelines for Steel Moment-Frame Construction for Seismic Applications (FEMA 353)1 was one of the final products of the SAC project. For the remainder of this document it will be referred to simply as FEMA 353.
FEMA 353 contains recommended specifications and quality assurance guidelines, incorporating the knowledge gained from the now-completed SAC project, that are deemed necessary to achieve the design objectives for steel moment-frame buildings subject to seismic loading. The document was prepared in two parts. Part I, Recommended Specifications, provides recommended supplemental recommendations for typical steel projects subject to seismic loading, whichare intended to be included in the job specifications. Despite the fact that FEMA 353 has not been subjected to a formal consensus adoption process, these recommendations have received extensive review by practicing engineers, researchers, fabricators and erectors.