The Panama Canal project resulted in new seismic hazard maps for the entire country. These new maps – now being adopted by the Ministry of Public Works in new building code REP-2014 - will more accurately define seismic risk throughout Panama. Simultaneously, Panama’s seismic design requirements will be updated to incorporate latest seismic research and as a result more stringent seismic requirements will apply to most buildings in the Canal Area, Panama City and the surrounding suburbs.

Why should developers care?
These changes will trigger significant new requirements for seismic detailing and restrictions against common structural systems now in use for buildings taller than 50 meters in Panama City and surrounding suburbs including Costa Del Este and Santa Maria. Even new buildings shorter than 50 meters in Panama City and surrounding suburbs will be affected by the new detailing requirements.

The new code will affect the development cost of most buildings in Panama.

Proposed Reglamento Estructural De Panamá 2014

What are my options?
The new Panama code requirements will undoubtedly change project pro-formas due to increased structural costs, but there is hope. These requirements already exist in North American Codes, so Walter P Moore – a leading international engineering consultancy with significant presence in Panama - has already developed a number of design strategies to mitigate the cost of compliance. For building taller than 50 meters, a design approach called Performance Based Design (PBD) may allow the use of highly efficient structural systems that will not otherwise be permitted under the new code. By leveraging Walter P Moore’s experience with PBD, we can often substantially reduce the structural cost premiums attributable to these new seismic requirements.

Financial Center Tower
Panama City, Panama

Bristol Buenaventura Resort
Río Hato, Cocle, Panama

Dream Plaza
Costa Del Este, Panama

The time for action is now!
Panama adopted the REP2014 in mid-December, 2015. The new code will become effective in mid-June, 2016. If you have a building in the early or late development stages, immediate action is suggested.

Learn more

As part of Walter P Moore’s commitment to the Panama development community, we are providing in-person technical briefings about the issues related to the proposed new code and available options to select current and potential clients in Panama.

Learn more about our Panama Operation.

Call or email us today to find out how to participate in this program at no cost.