Talk of Community Resiliency brings more focus to Seismic RetrofittingOct 14 2014 · 0 comments · Nishkian Chamberlain, Seismic, Sustainable ·0
More and more discussions these days are focusing around the resiliency of our communities. How well are the cities in which we live prepared to react to emergencies? In the Structural Engineering community here on the West coast, we tend to think of these related to our response to earthquakes, but this can also related to hurricanes, flooding, tsunamis, fires or other significant events. Community resilience has to do with many different things from our building structure survival to emergency response teams to communication lines to water distribution and other lifeline critical elements.
One major aspect to the community resiliency discussion is the ability of our existing building stock to survive a disaster. An effort is underway to better track and categorize how safe each and every building is that we live, work and play in every day. A relatively new organization, The U.S. Resiliency Council (http://www.usrc.org/) is working to address this topic. This group is developing a system to measure the risk and resiliency of our existing building stock. Ratings will benefit Owners, Lenders, tenants and government jurisdictions by increasing the value of well-designed buildings and providing a means for quantifying risk. See the chart below of an example of how these ratings could be posted on a building.
One major event set to take place this Thursday, October 16th, around the world bringing awareness about the dangers of earthquakes is The Great Shakeout event (http://www.shakeout.org/). At 10:16am on this day, a simulated earthquake will occur and participants are encouraged to “Drop, Cover and Hold-on.” The day will be highlighted by a number of other media and government events discussing what to do in an earthquake and talking about how to be prepared before the next one hit. As part of the original 2008 Shakeout event, a simulated M7.8 earthquake along the southern segment of the San Andreas Fault showed the potential shaking that could occur throughout the Los Angeles basin. See attached map below indicating the probability of shaking.
The following Monday, October 20th, the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California will again host a one day conference called, Buildings at Risk (http://barsummit.org/). This summit brings together different stakeholders including Structural Engineers, Building Owners, Government Officials, Insurance Industry professionals and Academia to all join in the discussion about how to keep and make our buildings safe. The one day event will provide the latest resources and tools available to evaluate our existing buildings and help to mitigate potential losses. This year’s summit will have a special focus on Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s and Dr. Lucy Jones’ proposal for building retrofits and a rating system. Los Angeles and Santa Monica along with San Francisco are just a few of the major cities across California that either have enacted or are considering enacting new legislation to require retrofitting of older buildings with high seismic risk.
Nishkian firms all have strong backgrounds and experience in evaluating existing buildings and providing seismic retrofits and solutions for building resiliency. Do not hesitate to contact any of our offices should you have a need for a structural building evaluation.