Our Nishkian Dean team has been following the efforts of the URM Building Policy Committee and Portland City Council to develop a mandatory seismic retrofit policy for unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings. This post is intended as an update to these previous posts, and to cover recent news.
We recently reported on a few outcomes from the Portland City Council meeting on June 13, 2018: a new proposal for the placement of warning placards on URM buildings, and one to require landlords (URM building owners) to notify their tenants that they reside in a URM structure. Read more here: https://www.nishkian.com/portlands-urm-seismic-retrofit-requirements-on-hold-for-now/
The resolution that passed at the June 13th Portland City Council meeting states that, starting in March 1, 2019, URM buildings that have not been retrofitted must post placards that “state clearly in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the building printed in not less than 30-point bold type: ‘This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake.’” 
Since that meeting, the Portland Bureau of Development Services has been working to write an official ordinance that would require signs and tenant notifications for URM buildings, among other items.
In summary, the ordinance requires a placard on all URM buildings that have not been retrofitted to prevent collapse in the event of a “major earthquake.” The durable placard needs to be sized 8”x10” with lettering in a 50-point bold font, placed in a conspicuous location on the exterior at the main entrance with the following message in capital letters: “This Building is an Unreinforced Masonry Building. Unreinforced Masonry Buildings may be unsafe in an event of a Major Earthquake.” 
Additionally, the ordinance requires that URM building owners directly notify tenants/renters through rental agreements that their building is an unreinforced masonry building, which may be unsafe in an event of a major earthquake. 
From the City of Portland website, the ordinance requires URM owners to post a placard according to the following timeline:
• Publicly-owned buildings: On or before May 1, 2019
• Non-profit buildings: On or before November 1, 2020
• All other buildings: On or before November 1, 2019 
Another part of the ordinance is that URM building owners are required to strengthen existing seismic triggers for their buildings. This may include:
1. Roof replacement. (Removal of greater than 50% of total roof area within a 15-year period requires wall anchorage for both in plane and out of plane forces and parapet bracing.) 
2. Costs of alterations or repair. (When costs associated with building alterations or repair in a five-year time period or fifteen-year time period exceeds the square-foot costs outlined in the ordinance, entire building must be improved to resist seismic forces to meet ASCE 31 41 criteria.) 
Nishkian Dean will continue to monitor the development of this important issue that affects many of our clients. Please contact us if you have questions on how these policies may affect your projects.
1. Proposed URM Placarding and Tenant Notification Ordinance:
2. Portland City Council Resolution No. 37364: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/689174
Voted as Bozeman’s Best Coffee and Coffeehouse four years straight, Cold Smoke Coffeehouse continues to grow and has opened its second location at Woodland Park Subdivision in 2017. Designed by Intrinsik Architecture in collaboration with owners Caleb and Laura Walker, and constructed by Walker Construction the 7,750-square-feet commercial building is located at 64 Willow Peak Drive just off of Huffine Lane. Nishkian Monks served as the Structural Engineer of Record. The new coffeehouse is predominantly a single-story structure with partial second story loft spaces utilized for offices and storage. The structure is built at a relatively level site with a concrete slab on grade ground floor. The majority of the structure is built using standard light frame wood construction with board siding at the exterior walls. Roof framing is accomplished with pre-engineered gang-nailed trusses and stick framing beam/rafter (vaulted) as required. The building net area is approximately 6,300 square feet at the ground level and 1,450 square feet at the loft level and is founded on conventional concrete strip and spread footings. Cold Smoke Coffeehouse Woodland has occupancy for 215 people and features a full bakery, kitchen, on-site roasting facility, and a warehouse. Other amenities include a conference rooms, easy drive-through and ample parking.
As Fitness Centers and Entertainment studios expand their locations, the challenges to acoustically isolate noise and vibrations from adjacent tenants increase.
While entertainment studios need to have internal noise levels carefully controlled, acoustic isolation is important to minimize external noise from say emergency vehicles or aircraft and internal noise from one area to another.
Construction of the 980,000 GSF, mixed-use residential and public stair project in Potrero Hill and Dogpatch neighborhoods has been an unusual spectacle for most San Franciscans. Align Real Estate, Perry Architects, Min|Day, Fletcher Studio, Build Group, and Nishkian Menninger are teaming up on this challenging project to put a 600-foot long building onto the east side of Potrero Hill.
Nishkian Monks has participated in the 3rd Annual Summer Trails Challenge sponsored by Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT). The summer trails challenge is a collaborative effort between area residents, the City of Bozeman, local businesses, and several public and private organizations in the Bozeman area. The event has emerged out of an effort to celebrate GVLT trail-building efforts and raise funds for future “Main Street to the Mountains” trail system projects which are used by commuters, runners, bikers and dog walkers.
The 160-unit, luxury apartment building project in Koreatown reached the roof structure essentially completing the main structural work on the project. Work began in construction in 2017 and is now installing finishes.
By Robert A. Aman, PE, SE
The Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program (SRGP) has a new application round that opened July 2, 2018, and closes on November 16, 2018, at 5:00pm. The SRGP is a State of Oregon biannual competitive grant program the provides funding for the seismic rehabilitation of existing critical public buildings, including public K-12 schools and emergency services facilities such as hospitals, acute inpatient care facilities, fire stations, police stations, 9-1-1 centers, and Emergency Operations Centers.
A new contemporary architectural gem in downtown Portland, Oregon, the 12th & Morrison Building is now complete. Designed by LRS Architects in collaboration with Design Department, LLC and constructed by Turner, Nishkian Dean served as Structural Engineer of Record.
We are honored and thrilled that the Google at 1212 Bordeaux project in Silicon Valley was a recent recipient of the Architectural Record 2018 “Good Design Is Good Business Award”, and is one of the six “Good Design Is Good Business” winning projects profiled in the June 2018 issue of the magazine. Designed by Charlottesville, Virginia-based Parabola Architecture and constructed by Devcon Construction, Nishkian Menninger served as the Structural Engineer of Record on the project.
It’s been an exciting year for us and we are very pleased to announce that our team has moved to a new location at the Howard Hughes Center! Our new location will provide us with more space to expand our operations and better serve our community.
Please make a note of our new address, and be sure to update it in your system:
6701 Center Drive W, Suite 715
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Our phone numbers and email addresses remain the same.
Feel free to drop by and say hi if you’re in the neighborhood… We’d love to hear what you’re up to and show you around our new space!
Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding our new location or our services. We look forward to serving you from our new location!
The Nishkian Chamberlain Team