Following the January 17, 1994, Northridge earthquake in California, engineers, contractors, building officials, insurance adjusters, and residential property owners were challenged with the assessment and repair of earthquake damage for more than 100,000 wood frame buildings.

Inexperience, poor communication, and the lack of a consensus for engineering guidelines related to the investigation, assessment, and repair of earthquake damage led to inconsistent and sometimes inequitable damage assessments. Other consequences included dubious repair recommendations, inequitable paid losses far in excess of predictions, and widespread controversy.

In an effort to substantially improve the response to the next major earthquake in California and elsewhere, the Earthquake Damage Assessment and Repair project was initiated under the auspices of the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE). The primary goals of the project were to conduct research and develop guidelines for the assessment and repair of earthquake damage in wood frame construction. The ultimate aim was to improve objectivity and consistency in the infrequent — but essential — task of post-earthquake damage assessment and repair in wood frame construction.

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