Southern CA, Northern CA, Pacific Northwest
 
OVERVIEW

Southern California


Southern California is in the process of developing and implementing seismic retrofit programs to reduce the risk of earthquake-related damage to buildings and promote life safety by addressing the problems that make specific building types vulnerable to seismic events. Vulnerable buildings in Southern California include Soft Story buildings, Non-ductile Concrete Buildings, Unreinforced Masonry Buildings, and Pre-Northridge Steel Moment Frames. These building types are proven to be vulnerable to severe damage or collapse during an earthquake, so retrofitting can improve the safety of building occupants during an earthquake.


Why is retrofitting important in Southern California? Southern California is home to a vast, interconnected fault system. Far from smooth, this system is locked in a tectonic battle over which areas will give way. Tectonic forces are continually tightening the springs of fault systems such as the San Andreas, making large and moderate sized earthquakes inevitable. Retrofitting is important because it can reduce earthquake-induced building damage and aims to allow occupants to safely exit the building during an earthquake.

 


Map of Known Faults in Southern California:

 


Map Source: USGS

 

 

Map of Previous Earthquakes in Southern California (Magnitude 5 and greater):

 

Map Source: USGS

 

 

USGS Earthquake Forecast for Southern California:

 


Source: USGS UCERF3

 

Cities in Southern California are at different stages of reducing earthquake-related risk. Some cities have passed ordinances addressing all four vulnerable building types, and many others are currently developing ordinances to reduce risk associated with vulnerable building types.

 

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Jurisdiction No. of Affected Buildings Ordinance Time Frames
Beverly Hills 300 Reported

Wood Soft-Story 4 units
or more build prior to 1978

 

Draft ordinance indicates the following time frames:
1. Evaluation after 180 days of notification
2. Submit Plans after 365 days of notification
3. Building permit after 1.5 years of notification
4. Commence construction after 2 years of notification
5. Construction completion after 2.5 years of notification
Los Angeles 13,500 Reported Wood Soft-Story 4 units or
more built prior to 1978
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Submit Plans after 1 year of notification
2. Building permit after 2 years of notification
3. Construction completion after 7 years of notification
1,500 Reported Non-Ductile Concrete
built prior to 1977
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 10 year of notification
2. Construction copletion after 25 years of notification
Santa Monica 209 Reported URM built prior to 1975 Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 3 months of notification
2. Building permit after 12 months of notification
3. Construction copletion after 24 months of notification
34 Reported Conc / CMU with Flex Diaph.
Built prior to 1994
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 4 months of notification
2. Building permit after 18 months of notification
3. Construction completion after 36 months of notification
1,573 Reported Wood Soft Story built
prior to 1978
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 24 months of notification
2. Building permit after 42 months of notification
3. Construction completion after 72 months of notification
66 Reported Non-Ductile Concrete built
prior to 1977
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 36 months of notification
2. Building permit after 54 months of notification
3. Construction completion after 120 months of
     notification
80 Reported Pre-Northridge Steel Moment
Frames built prior to 1995

Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 36 months of notification
2. Building permit after 180 months of notification
3. Construction completion after 240 months of
    
notification

West Hollywood 780 Reported Wood Soft-Story built
prior to 1978
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 1 year of notification
2. Submit Plans after 2 years of notification
3. Building permit after 4 years of notification
4. Construction completion after 5 years of notification
55 + (60 Potential Steel
or concrete) Reported
Non-Ductile Concrete
built prior to 1977
Draft ordinance indicates the following time frames:
Phase 1 - Retrofit Major Deficiencies

1. Evaluation after 3 years of notification
2. Submit plans after 5 years of notification
3. Obtain permit by year 7 of notification
4. Construction completion after 10 years of notification
Phase 2 - Complete Full Retrofit
5. Submit plans after 13 years of notification
6. Obtain permit by year 15 of notification
7. Construction completion after 20 years of notification
31 + (60 Potential Steel
or concrete) Reported
Pre-Northridge Steel Moment
Frames built prior to 1995

 

 

Northern California

 

Northern California is also in the process of developing and implementing seismic retrofit programs to reduce the risk of earthquake-related damage to buildings and promote life safety by addressing the problems that make specific building types vulnerable to seismic events. Cities enact seismic retrofit programs by passing seismic ordinances, laws requiring the assessment, and retrofit of these specific building types. Ordinances specify minimum requirements for mandatory structural improvements intended to promote public welfare and reduce the risk of death or injury that may result from the effects of earthquakes on vulnerable buildings. The structural improvements, or retrofits, reduce earthquake-induced damage to the building and ensure that occupants are able to exit the building safely during an earthquake. Vulnerable buildings in Northern California include Soft Story buildings, Non-ductile Concrete Buildings, Unreinforced Masonry Buildings, and Pre-Northridge Steel Moment Frames. These building types are proven to be vulnerable to severe damage or collapse during earthquakes, so retrofitting can improve the safety of building occupants during an earthquake.

 

Why is retrofitting important in Northern California? Northern California is home to a vast, interconnected fault system. Far from smooth, this system is locked in a tectonic battle over which areas will give way. Tectonic forces are continually tightening the springs of fault systems such as the San Andreas, making large and moderate sized earthquakes inevitable. Retrofitting is important because it can reduce earthquake-induced building damage and aims to allow occupants to safely exit buildings during an earthquake.

 

 

Map of Known Faults in Northern California:

 


Source: USGS

 

 

USGS Earthquake Forecast for Nothern Califronia:

 


Source: USGS UCERF3

 

 

Cities in Northern California are at different stages of reducing earthquake-related risk. Some cities have passed ordinances addressing all four vulnerable building types, and many others are currently developing ordinances to reduce risk associated with vulnerable building types.

 

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Jurisdiction No. of Affected Buildings Ordinance Time Frames
Alameda 100 Reported Wood Soft-Story 5 units
or more built prior to 1985
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation completed 1.5 years after notification
Berkeley 327 Reported Wood Soft-Story 5 units or
more built prior to 1978
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Permit by December 31, 2016
2. Retrofits to be completed by December 31, 2018
Oakland 1,380 Reported Wood Soft-Story 5 units or
more built prior to 1991
Mandatory screening only is complete.  Retrofit is voluntary.
Palo Alto 294 Reported Wood Soft-Story Ordinance In development.
San Francisco 4,956 Reported Wood Soft-Story 5 units or
more built prior to 1978
Ordinance is approved and requires:
1. Evaluation after 1 year from operative date
2. Submit Plans 2 years to 5 years from operative date
3. Construction completion 4 to 7 years from operative date

 

 

Pacific Northwest

 

Cities in the Pacific Northwest are at different stages of reducing their earthquake related risks. For example, Portland and Seattle are in the process of developing ordinances to address URM buildings, which are considered the most vulnerable of all building type

 

PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Jurisdiction No. of Affected Buildings Ordinance Time Frames
Portland 1,670 Reported URM Buildings Building Inventory completed. Ordinances in development.
Seattle 1,150 Reported URM Buildings Building Inventory completed. Ordinances in development.