Tier 3 Seismic Evaluation of the Clifford Davis/Odell Horton Federal Building

Location:  Memphis, Tennessee

Burr & Cole Consulting Engineers, Inc. performed a seismic evaluation of the Clifford Davis / Odell Horton Federal Building in Memphis, Tennessee.  The Clifford Davis/ Odell Horton Federal Building is located in the Central Business District at the intersection of Front St. and Poplar Ave.  It is situated on the bluff, one city block east of the Mississippi River.  The building is owned and operated by the U.S. General Services Administration.  The building provides space for number of federal agencies including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, law enforcement agencies, courts, and others.

The purpose of the study was to assess the building performance during a seismic event, identify its vulnerabilities and develop recommendations for retrofits.  Our report was based on information obtained from the building-specific documents provided by the owner and investigative team’s observations made during site visits to the facility.  In addition, a limited geotechnical investigation was performed to verify characteristics of the existing soils conditions.

The seismic assessment of the building structural systems, non-structural components and geologic site hazards was performed using the ASCE 41-13 Standard – Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings.  

The standard provides a three tiered procedure for seismic evaluation:

  • Tier 1 – Screening procedure
  • Tier 2 – Deficiency-based evaluation procedure
  • Tier 3 – Systematic evaluation procedure.

Due to the limitations defined by level of site seismicity, building type and number of stories, a Tier 3 Systematic Evaluation was required for this building.