Seismic Certification for Generator Sets Makes Good Business Sense

by New member Robert222 on ‎12-03-2015 10:59 AM



When considering what type of generator set features and components to select for a particular application, specifying engineers probably don’t immediately think of seismic certification and wind load requirements. That is, of course, unless their project happens to be in an active seismic zone. But they should.


Few places, if any, around the globe are immune to natural disasters.  Whether it is earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, or anything else, they threaten the ongoing operations of any business or mission-critical facility. In turn, increased scrutiny is being placed on ensuring that standby generator sets will perform in any type of emergency situation, regardless of location.


Seismic Compliance


In North America, we are seeing a sharply focused market for seismic certification, especially in mission-critical facilities like hospitals.  This is being driven primarily as a result of California’s OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development) Seismic Compliance Program, a building standards plan designed for hospitals. This voluntary program for review and preapproval of Special Seismic Certifications to be used in health facilities construction in California was initiated because of the loss of life incurred due to the collapse of hospitals during the Sylmar earthquake of 1971.


The ultimate public safety benefit is to have general acute care hospital buildings that are  not only capable of remaining intact after a seismicevent, but can also demonstrate  continued operation and provision of medical services after a seismic event.


In parallel, the International Code Council publishes the International Building Code (IBC) as part of a mission to develop a single set of national model construction codes.  These codes specifically address the design and installation of building systems – including emergency power systems – with an emphasis on performance.


The IBC certification is required for the entire electric system including generator sets, ATS, transformers, motor control centers and other onsite power gear.  It also requires that all equipment must endure expected acceleration levels set by the U.S. Geological Survey where the equipment is installed, whether it is located below ground, at ground level, or on a roof top.


The only way for a building to remain operational after wind and seismic events is to design the critical equipment to withstand the same impact as the building itself.  Regarding flooding, specifying engineers need to ensure critical equipment is not located in areas of the building that could be damaged by floods.  Additionally, snow loads need to be considered in certain regions of the country for equipment installed outside.


Wind and snow certification, along with enclosure and sub-base tank certification, can be done through analysis, whereas seismic must be done primarily through shake table testing.


The IBC clearly provides that it is the responsibility of equipment manufacturers, suppliers, installers, design team managers, engineers and inspectors to ensure their respective component remain “on line and functional” after the emergency has occurred.


Global Acceptance


While IBC and OSHPD seismic certifications are primarily required in North America, an increasing number of regulatory agencies around the globe are referencing these standards as well. These certifications are becoming a required standby electrical generation specification, especially at mission-critical facilities, as they provide a quantitative proof of quality and a standard that has been measured and tested.


In a natural disaster, engineers and customers alike take great comfort knowing the standby generator sets specified to provide backup power for administering emergency services will have the ability to continuously runtheir operations. Generator sets that have met the strict criteria set forth by the IBC and OSHPD certifications offer a greater value proposition by providing an energy solution that has been tested to have a high-level of quality, and has been documented to perform to exact test specifications.


We have found that whether our customers are located in an active seismic zone or not, they appreciate the effort that we, as manufacturers, have gone above and beyond in supplying just a standby power solution.  Providing a wide range of diesel generator sets that have been certified to meet the seismic provisions of all published editions of the IBC and OSHPD seismic preapproval, offers customers an added peace of mind and - in our opinion - makes good business sense.


For information on how these certifications encompass Cat® power solutions from 36 kW to 4 MW, visit


We would love to hear your thoughts:

  • Are you more concerned with seismic installations now than you were five years ago?
  • How important are seismic and wind load considerations when specifying a generator set and where do they rank as part of your standby power solution?
  • Do you have a specific example of a generator set that has withstood a seismic event?

by Faazil Fairooz
on ‎12-29-2015 07:41 AM

Dear Sir,


we are a powerplant developing company.recently our client wants to develop a landfill gas power plant. we will like you to recomend a sutable project developer to work with.


Expecting a positive reply.


yours faithful

faazil Fairooz


by PABX Panasonic
on ‎01-13-2016 03:18 AM

seismic certification is good tools for detect earthquake disaster earlier, and i also agree it will a good business sense

by Pvc roof
on ‎01-13-2016 03:24 AM

seismic certification it used in area where there is a lot earthquake possibility, i think should come with routine maintenance

by Robert Miller
on ‎01-13-2016 07:39 PM


Thank you for the inquiry. Based on the need, I would contact your local Cat Dealer to learn more about gas power plant construction and equipment in your area. You can find your dealer here:

by Diego Dure
on ‎02-26-2016 12:30 PM

Buenas tardes

Solicito cotizacion de un generador electrico con las siguientes caracteristicas

* 330 KvA o similar

* 380 volt fase a fasa

* 220 volt faste a neutro

* Con tablero de transferencia automatico incorporado

* Insonoro


Saludos cordiales 

Diego Dure

by Dave Gardener
on ‎03-16-2016 09:01 AM

My question about seismic certification has to do with smaller events but increased frequency.  If we set up a generator in Oklahoma where the bulk of the fracking tremors are, does occurence supercede size?  The stressors from 1 large quake surely must be more of a concern than a bunch of smaller ones?


A quick look at Google Trends shows the public is more concerned with seismic events, especially a growing awareness on the west coast that a big one is overdue.  I agree with you.

by Christian Valdéz
on ‎06-15-2016 01:57 PM

buenas tardes, en mi empresa necesitamos una certificacion en seimic, ustedes pueden ayudarnos? que precio tiene?

by edecanes presencia
on ‎08-27-2016 01:26 AM

Aqui me asesoran de generadores mayores a 200 KVa?

by Seozentre
on ‎12-06-2016 06:02 PM

Thanks for the information. How I can get a Seismic Certification? 

by Rob R
on ‎12-12-2016 04:55 PM

Seismic certification is a must in California. I gues the main point here is to prepare before deploying any power generating solution.

by New member mutasium
on ‎12-16-2016 02:56 AM - last edited on ‎09-21-2017 12:22 PM by Administrator

Experiences and findings from the recent earthquakes have shown that the designed facilities and implemented properly able to resist the violent earthquakes without collapse, but most especially the old ones of these facilities may be exposed to dangerous or collapse reasoned to the loss of lives Alskan.kma damage confirmed the studies on performance origin during the earthquakes that construction camel, which has sufficient capacity to resist lateral forces and must also have enough ability of any compliant maintain their integrity when increasing stress in order to protect the population.

thank you for your post, i hope you contunue psting like this!

by Miguel Chapital
on ‎12-26-2016 11:25 PM

How I can get a Seismic Certification? 


Beforehand, thanks for your help

by Puertas Metálicas
on ‎12-28-2016 01:01 AM

How much for a  330 KvA generator?

by Altercreative
on ‎12-30-2016 12:04 AM

How much will them cost?


by New member Octopus
on ‎10-13-2017 01:10 PM
You can send us the catalog ? Thanks ;)
by New member TYLERROWLAND09
on ‎10-18-2017 04:00 PM

Looking to find the model year for a Cat 3406 DIT generator serial number 90U19598? it is a 327hp motor. Thanks

by New member JuegosKids
on ‎12-06-2017 10:33 PM

Where can I find an online catalog? Smiley Tongue

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