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Seismic Design of Piers and Wharves

  • COPRISponsored by COPRI and the COPRI Ports and Harbors Committee Certificate in Port Engineering Task Committee

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    Course Dates: May 10 – July 30, 2021     Register Now

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    Purpose & Background

    Piers and wharves present design challenges that differ considerably from buildings and similar structures. Conventional Building Codes, Section 11 specifically, excludes piers and wharves with no public access. To standardize industry practice for piers and wharves, the port/marine industry developed a seismic design standard, ASCE 61-14, to describe the interactions and performance between pile-supported structures and geotechnical load considerations to mitigate seismic risk. This Standard uses displacement-based design methods to establish guidelines for the design of piers and wharves to withstand the effects of earthquakes.

    This course will help engineers and other practitioners understand the history of codes and standards, the fundamentals of seismic design, the background of ASCE 61-14 provisions, and the practical implementation of seismic design for piers and wharves with illustrative examples.


    Gayle Johnson, P.E., M.ASCE
    Marc Percher, P.E., M.S., M.ASCE

    Course Benefits

    • Understand the evolving industry codes and standards for port/marine facilities.
    • Understand the fundamentals of seismic design.
    • Receive an in-depth background of ASCE 61-14 provisions.
    • Learn a practical implementation of seismic design for piers and wharves.
    • Analyze detailed examples of analysis and design.

    This course will provide an overview of:

    1. The history of development and conflicts of current codes and standards 
    2. Structural systems 
    3. Geotechnical considerations and soil-structure interaction 
    4. Design classification 
    5. Design approach based on performance and hazard levels 
    6. Design methods such as performance-based design, displacement-based design, and force-based design 
    7. Detailing considerations 
    8. Ancillary components 

    Learning Outcomes

    • Explain the development history and conflicts in the latest codes, standards, and resources for piers and wharves.
    • Identify and design for the types of piers and wharf structures supported on concrete or steel piles.
    • Describe the types of seismic design classification, performance requirements, and seismic hazard levels.
    • Describe the required process and applicable federal, state, and local design criteria for designing a pier and wharf.
    • Apply understanding of geotechnical/structural interaction on design.
    • Describe force-based design, displacement-based design, and performance-based design.
    • Understand the process, procedures, and requirements of design and detailing.
    • Identify the ancillary and nonstructural components of piers and wharves.

    Who Should Attend?

    • Terminal owners and operators
    • Public and private port engineering community
    • Civil, structural, geotechnical, and mechanical engineers
    • Academia and researchers working on marine and waterfront facilities
    • Building officials

    Course Outline


    2.4 CEUs / 24 PDHs


    Rate: Member $1545 | Non-Member $1895