Why More and More Cities are Enacting Earthquake Retrofit Laws

earthquake damage photo
Photo by martinluff

By Ali Vahdani, President and Founder of Optimum Seismic

From Apartment Age:

Optimum  Seismic  was  recently  asked  to  make  a  formal  presentation  about  earthquake  retrofits  and  building  safety  at  a  meeting  of  CALBO,  the  California  Building  Officials  association.  The  organization  was  curious  to  learn  more  about  process,  various  laws  already  in  place,  financing  options  and  the  impacts  on  insurance and  tenant habitability.

Based  on  the  high  level  of  interest  among  the  building  officials there, it was clear that cities throughout the state are  concerned  about  their  duty  to  protect  the  general  welfare of the public in the event of a major earthquake.Why?  We  all  remember  the  destruction  that  occurred  in  1994  when  Northridge  suffered  a devastating 6.7-magnitude earthquake: freeways crumbled, apartment buildings collapsed and, as a result, more than 60 people were killed, 9,000 people injured and $25 billion in damage was reported.

It’s a lesser-known fact that an estimated 49,000 housing units  in  Northridge  alone  were  rendered  uninhabitable  from the Northridge quake.

The  city  of  Santa  Monica  lost  some  5  percent  of  its  total  housing units in the same epic tremor.

In both instances, the vast majority of structures lost were wood-framed, soft-story buildings. Santa  Monica  was the  first  city  to  adopt earthquake safety  standards,  and  is  currently  in  the  process  of  updating its codes. (continues…)

Download the rest of this article (p.72) and the Complete Issue of Apartment Age, Dec. 2016 HERE.

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