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2021 AIA Disaster Assistance Program: Building Evaluator Training

Intended for licensed architects, engineers, or certified building inspectors; this course certifies attendees as Building Evaluators in the nationally recognized Safety Assessment Program (SAP). The program is managed by Cal OES with cooperation from professional organizations, including the AIA. It utilizes volunteers and mutual aid resources to provide professional engineers, architects and certified building inspectors to assist local governments in safety evaluation of their built environment in an aftermath of a disaster. SAP is the training standard of the AIA Disaster Assistance Program, which provides leadership, advocacy, and training to architects who are interested in volunteering their professional skills in times of crisis. This workshop will teach participants to conduct rapid damage assessments of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water. Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to consistently and safely assess structures for habitability and will receive a nationally recognized Cal OES registration ID card from the state of California.


All building industry professionals are welcome to attend. In addition, certain licensed practitioners will be eligible to perform post-disaster assessments after successfully completing SAP training as certified Building Evaluators:

  • Licensed architects
  • Registered civil, structural, or geotechnical engineers
  • Certified building inspectors


In 2008 AIA adopted and adapted California’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) Safety Assessment Program (SAP) as the official AIA all-hazards post-disaster training.

After successfully completing AIA’s SAP training, eligible individuals will earn a California-issued registration ID card. This nationally recognized certification is often required training for volunteer building safety evaluators nationwide.


This two-half-day, online, all-hazards training course will include a digital copy of the SAP Building Evaluator Manual. Attendees will receive one field manual from the Applied Technology Council (ATC):

ATC-45 Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Windstorms and Flood; or ATC-20 Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings.

AIA SAP instructors share personal experiences from the field and interactive case studies. Attendees will learn about building performance and protocols for disaster deployment.

6.5 AIA HSW CEUs will be earned. Approx. 4 weeks after course completion, AIA members will see credits recorded in their on-line profile. Only non-AIA members will receive certificates.

Attendees should bring their state license number(s) and will have their photo taken for the CAL OES Identification card.

This is a 2-day program, occurring March 31 and April 1, 9am-1pm each day.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 | 9:00am – 1:00pm PT | Webinar

Thursday, April 1, 2021 | 9:00am – 1:00pm PT | Webinar


  • Wednesday, March 31
    • i. Preparing to Respond: a guide from AIA (AIA content)
    • ii. Unit 1: Safety Assessment Program Overview
    • iii. Unit 2: Safety Assessment Process and Procedures
    • iv. Unit 3: Non-Earthquake Hazards
  • Thursday, April 1
    • i. Unit 4: Building Evaluation
    • ii. Unit 5: Safety Assessment Exercise (breakout room group exercises)
    • iii. Unit 6: Lifeline Systems and Facilities
    • iv. Unit 7: Field Safety
    • v. Responding during COVID-19 (AIA) (AIA content)
    • vi. About the AIA Disaster Assistance Program (AIA content)

**Registration will close 10 business days prior the program to allow all materials to be mailed to participants. OUR CURRENT ALLOCATION OF SPACE IS SOLD OUT. Click below to join our waiting list.

White text on red button: Click here to join the waitlist

At registration, please fill out this form to complete your certification.

**The above-linked form replaces the in-person form and headshot to add you to the database for state disaster coordinators. You must complete this form in order to be certified.

This program is presented in collaboration with Cal OES and the American Institute of Architects Disaster Assistance Program, facilitated by AIA Seattle’s Adaptation and Resilience Committee. This online program will be provided with full closed-captioning. Please note on your registration if you would like to be contacted about specific accommodations to fully participate in this program. Contact Member Engagement Manager, Connor Descheemaker, with any questions or concerns.

**Though this program is open to participants in any region, the program will include a section on WASafe, since that program reflects our local needs in Washington state.


Behrooz (Ben) Emam, AIA, PE, CFM
Senior Manager – AWS Architecture, Civil, & Structural Engineering

Smiling man with mustache, wearing a blue collared shirt below a black sweater

Behrooz (Ben) Emam is a registered architect, a civil engineer, and a certified facility manager, with over thirty years of experience in architectural and structural engineering, emergency preparedness, and facilities management. He has Masters Degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering from University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Ben is the principal at Emam Consulting and Educational Services (ECES) and was previously the Manager of Civil & Structural Group at AWS. Before rejoining Amazon for a second time, Ben was the Assistant Vice President and Senior Engineering Manager – Construction Services with Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Ben was a 25-year adjunct faculty member of the University of Washington, Department of Construction Management. He regularly taught classes in Construction and Facilities Management and conducted seminars on seismic preparedness and disaster planning. Ben was also building inspection volunteer after the San Francisco (Loma Prieta), Los Angeles (Northridge), and Seattle (Nisqually) earthquakes, and the recipient of the Seattle AIA 2001 – Community Service Award.

Rachel Minnery, FAIA 
Director, Built Environment Policy, American Institute of Architects

Smiling woman with wavy hair, wearing a black suit jacket over light purple shirt, standing in front of a word-cloud background

Rachel Minnery, FAIA is an architect and Senior Director of Resilience, Adaptation and Disaster Assistance at The American Institute of Architects (AIA) developing policy, design guides, and education for the organization’s 95,000 members and the building industry. Rachel’s previous experience includes design and management in the non-profit and private sectors focusing on environmentally and socially responsible design. She is the co-founder of Architects Without Borders Seattle and has lead groups of building safety volunteers to disaster-stricken places.




Learning Objectives

At the end of this training, the participant will be able to:

  • Recognize the important role architects and associated building professionals play in disaster
    preparedness, response, and recovery.
  • Accurately conduct a post-disaster rapid building assessment and complete appropriate
    damage assessment forms.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the Applied Technology Council’s ATC-20 Post-earthquake
    Safety Evaluation of Buildings and ATC 45 Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Windstorms
    and Floods damage assessment procedures.
  • Earn a Cal-OES registration ID card


$130 AIA Members,  SEAW, WSSHE, and AISC Members
$250 Non-Members
$65 Associate AIA Members and Students

*The training cost includes a digital copy of  Safety Assessment Program Training booklet, and physical copies of the ATC-20-1 Field Manual and ATC-45 Field Manual. AIA cannot guarantee arrival of physical manuals by the time of training due to disruptions to mail service and our distributor. While the ATC field manuals are an incredibly important component of response, they are not critical to attending this training and participants should feel comfortable attending the training even if they do not receive the manuals on time.

PLEASE NOTE: To maintain your registration as a Safety Assessment Evaluator, you will need to retake the training every 5 years.


Thank you to our sponsor for this program, Code Unlimited!


March 31, 2021
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Price
Class Credit
6.5 LU, HSW


AIA Seattle
(206) 448-4938