Seismic Retrofitting- Are you ready for the next big earthquake?Sep 17 2014 · 0 comments · Nishkian Chamberlain, Seismic ·0
The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities estimated in 2007 that there is a 63% probability of at least one magnitude 6.7 or greater quake, capable of causing widespread damage, striking the San Francisco Bay region before 2030. There is a 67% probability of a similarly sized earthquake striking the Southern California region within the same period (http://www.scec.org/ucerf2/).
Seismic retrofitting a building in California is a great way to reinforce the long term durability of a building before the next earthquake hits. It also makes the structure safer by protecting the occupants from potential loss of life. A retrofitted structure can generally withstand more movement than a non-retrofitted structure and this will help business owners protect their assets, reduce liability and lower the risk of catastrophic loss.
Some examples of our retrofitting design work can be seen around the Southern California area including the buildings located at 823 & 835 Seward in North Hollywood and most recently, on the island of Catalina in the historic El Encanto Building. Originally built in the early 1900’s, major renovations and conversions have been implemented for reopening in late 2014.
The project consisted of the repurposing of the existing building from a current retail center and cafe to the new spa center. The existing structure consisted primarily of wood framed construction over concrete foundations with some single-story and some two-story building area. The lateral load resisting system of the existing structure is wood diaphragms and wood shear walls. Due to the extensive renovation of existing space, a full redesign of the existing lateral force resisting system has been provided and updated in the current plans.
The structure additions consist of predominately wood frame construction with some steel framing supports. The primary lateral load resisting system of the additions will also be wood diaphragms and wood shear walls. The structure has been designed in conformance with the 2010 California Building Code.
Structural engineers in each of our offices are qualified to bring the seismic retrofitting solutions to building and homeowners when you need it. More importantly, we have the experience to assist in assessing possible building performance and potential losses ahead of time, so that informed decisions can be made ahead of the next big earthquake.