31. What is the Risk Category for a 20-story condominium building with a maximum occupancy of 1000 people?

(a) I

(b) II

(c) III

(d) IV

  • Solution

    Best answer: (b)



    Table 1604.5 in the CBC is the source document for determining Risk Categories. Most residential buildings are Risk Category II.


    Risk Categories are explained in Section 3.7 (and Table 3.4) of Seismic Principles. The great thing about Seismic Principles is that an explanation of each concept is provided on the same page as the pertinent tables and accompanying examples. This organization facilitates quick look-up during the exam. Get your copy.

32. A building is 100 ft by 60 ft in plan. The flat roof snow load is 25 psf. How much snow weight should be included in the seismic weight?


(a) 0 kips

(b) 25 kips

(c) 30 kips

(d) 150 kips

  • Solution

    Best answer: (a)



    Snow weight is only included in the seismic weight if it is greater than 30 psf [see ASCE 7-10 12.7.2]. See Section 3.14 and Example 3.28 in Seismic Principles.

33. What makes a seismic force-resisting system "special"?


(a) Extra strength

(b) Extra stiffness

(c) Extra ductility

(d) Both (a) and (c)

  • Solution

    Best answer: (c)



    "Special" systems are introduced in Section 1.5 of Seismic Principles. The entire first chapter of Seismic Principles is available for preview and provides a great foundation for understanding seismic design concepts.

34. A 3-story building, with a period of 0.2 seconds, has a roof weight that is half of the floor weights. The story heights are all equal.


What is Cvx for the roof level?


(a) 0.25

(b) 0.33

(c) 0.50

(d) 0.67

35. For the plan below all frames have the same stiffness.

What is the force in Frame A if the diaphragm is rigid?


(a) 40.7 kips

(b) 42.2 kips

(c) 52.5 kips

(d) 75.3 kips

36. What is the response modification coefficient for steel storage racks?


(a) 1.5

(b) 4

(c) 6

(d) 8

37. A special moment frame in an office building experiences the displacements shown below when subjected to the equivalent lateral force.  All stories are 14 ft tall.

(a) The frame has adequate stiffness

(b) The frame needs increased stiffness

(c) The frame needs increased strength

(d) Both (b) and (c)

38. The picture below shows a braced frame from a football stadium built in 1982. The braced frame is 60 ft tall. The site has: SDS=0.9g.

If this stadium were being built today at the same site, could the same type of bracing be used?


(a) Yes, if R=6 is used during design

(b) Yes, if R=3.25 is used during design

(c) No

(d) More information is required

39. Which of the following is not true about site parameters for particular sites?


(a) SDS=(2/3)SMS

(b) SDS could be greater than SS

(c) SDS is always greater than SD1

(d) SM1=FaS1

40. A chimney extends 4 ft above the roof of a house. There is no bracing, so it is considered a cantilever chimney. The portion of the chimney above the roof weighs 400 lbs. The site has SDS=0.9g.


What is the seismic design force for the chimney?


(a) 58 lbs

(b) 173 lbs

(c) 405 lbs

(d) 432 lbs