Seismic Ordinances

Many communities have recently elected to institute seismic ordinances designed to improve the expected performance of certain classes of buildings in potentially damaging earthquakes. The goals of these ordinances vary from city to city but they generally include the better protection of the life safety of the public and the improved resiliency of the building stock. The building seismic ordinances run in parallel with other efforts to improve the reliability of the electrical grid, water and sewer systems, roadways, etc.

We serve our clients by providing current information on these ordinances and expert advice and counsel on how best to comply with them. Usually these ordinances involve an initial evaluation phase, in which an engineering report is prepared by the building owner’s structural engineer and then submitted to the city for review. Our extensive experience with seismic evaluations based on real-life earthquake damage observations and assessments provides our clients with the best potential of compliance. Should a building be non-compliant, the building is then retrofitted following a time line described in the ordinance. We provide full seismic improvement services from initial engineering design through the permit process and construction. Our goal is to provide our clients with the seismic resiliency they desire in the most cost-effective manner using state-of-the-practice techniques.