The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) took home the prestigious Charles Pankow Award for Innovation at the American Society of Civil Engineers' (ASCE) OPAL Gala in Washington D.C. Their winning project, Seismic Design Methodology for Precast Concrete Diaphragms, was jointly funded by PCI and PCI, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and the Charles Pankow Foundation.

The project is an industry-endorsed, comprehensive seismic design methodology for precast concrete diaphragms. As a result of this research, a revised force demand and resistance methodology for precast concrete diaphragms were adopted in 2015 NEHRP and ASCE/SEI 7-16. 

Here are the aspects of behavior addressed by this methodology:

(1) Diaphragm seismic design forces that more accurately reflect the actual inertial forces that develop during strong shaking
(2) More rational methods of determining diaphragm internal forces
(3) Inelastic deformation capacity requirements for the diaphragm reinforcement
(4) Protection of potentially non-ductile elements in the precast concrete diaphragm though the use of capacity design concepts
(5) Explicit inclusion of diaphragm flexibility in drift limits checks

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