Seismic Engineering

Shaken, But Not Stirred - We Mitigate Risk

Earthquakes are an intense, very real, uncertain force that impacts the safety of our communities. In high seismic zones, the only certainty is when. To reduce the worrisome uncertainty regarding earthquakes, understanding the seismic risk of your structures is the first step, then the building can be upgraded to better withstand the shaking of an earthquake, reducing damage and preserving life.

Our structural engineers have been providing seismic engineering evaluations and upgrade/retrofit design for more than 25 years. Witnessing first-hand the complete destruction that earthquakes have caused around the world, our seismic engineers live and breathe seismic safety – their minds and conversations are filled with how to improve building performance during earthquakes with the aim of preserving lives and property.
Reid Middleton can help you understand and mitigate the seismic risk of your building(s). We customize our seismic engineering support to the needs and desires of the individual client. The range of our seismic engineering services we provide includes:

  • ASCE Seismic Evaluation & Retrofit (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3)
  • FEMA 154 Seismic Screening
  • Non-Linear Analysis & Design
  • Retrofit Design
  • Upgrade Design
  • Construction Administration
  • Seismic Damping
  • Base Isolation
  • Utility Seismic Engineering

01046+ Tier 1, 2, or 3 seismic evaluations

01 of 25 firms selected to improve FEMA Performance-Based Seismic Design Standards

0125+ seismic upgrades/renovations

023+ years worldwide earthquake reconnaissance

USCG Evaluation & Retrofit of Various Buildings

Western United StatesLearn More

Washington State School Seismic Safety Assessments

Various Locations, WALearn More

City of Tacoma Seismic Screening

Tacoma, WALearn More

Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Seismic Program

San Diego, CALearn More

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Seismic & Security Upgrades

Anchorage, AKLearn More

Naval Hospital Yokosuka (NHY) Seismic Evaluation

Yokosuka, JapanLearn More

Before the Next Quake Hits,
Let’s Get into Some Details


As a regional leader in the application of Performance-Based Design for critical facilities, we have developed innovative techniques to retrofit these important buildings. By using a combination of traditional construction methods with forward-looking energy dissipation and fiber-composite construction, we have been able to minimize the aesthetic impact of seismic strengthening while saving time and money.

FEMA Seismic Screening: Reid Middleton’s engineers have performed seismic screening for more than 500 buildings leading to innovative seismic risk reduction programs for our clients. We rapidly identify, inventory, and rank buildings according to expected safety and usability during and after earthquakes. This helps officials to plan and prioritize future engineering, emergency-response needs, and mitigation projects.

ASCE 41-13 Seismic Evaluation & Retrofit: Reid Middleton has been selected as 1 of only 25 firms nationally to review and improve performance-based seismic design standards. This 3-tiered approach first identifies deficiencies, then provides more detailed evaluations and analyses, and lastly, provide highly detailed review and modeling of the building in order to establish structural behavior and load distribution of the structural system.

Retrofit/Upgrade Design: Reid Middleton seismic engineers consider retrofit cost, desired performance level, aesthetic appeal, and scheduling when designing retrofit and upgrade solutions for our clients. Our engineers have designed traditional seismic strengthening of existing structures, but more often, apply energy dissipation devices like fluid viscous dampers, friction dampers, viscous wall dampers, and base isolation to improve the seismic performance of buildings.

  • Fluid Viscous Damper (FVD) – like shock absorbers in your car, but much larger, these are connected to the structure in specific locations to absorb earthquake forces so the building structure doesn’t weaken or break.
  • Friction Damper – similar to when you quickly rub your hands together to warm them, these series of metal plates connected to the structural elements move back/forth creating friction energy from the earthquake forces.
  • Base Isolation – like a building moving around on giant hockey pucks, this technique separates a building from the ground, allowing it to move independently from the shaking ground beneath.