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Thousands of San Francisco buildings may face earthquake hazard – NBC Bay Area

Thousands of San Francisco buildings may face earthquake hazard – NBC Bay Area


More than 3,000 concrete buildings in San Francisco could be at risk of collapsing in the event of a major earthquake, according to a rough draft prepared by the city government and obtained by NBC News.

The San Francisco Chronicle Building on Mission Street, commissioned in 1924, is constructed of concrete and is one of the older buildings on the city’s list for appraisal and potential retrofit.

“This is a draft inventory,” said Megan Stringer, president of the Northern California Structural Engineers Association. “It is simply a list of older concrete buildings that have the potential to compromise non-ductile concrete.”

He headed the group of structural engineers working with the city to develop a plan to locate and retrofit older concrete buildings in San Francisco.

She said some of these buildings, such as the Twitter headquarters for example, that date back to the 1990s or older, do not have enough rebar inside the concrete to make them earthquake safe.

“We’re working on fixing these buildings, we know it’s a problem and we’re working on that,” Stringer said.

Not every building on the draft list posted on NBC News will need retrofitting, and some are listed by mistake, according to Stringer. The final draft is still in the works.

In a statement to NBC Bay Area, Brian Strong, San Francisco’s chief resilience officer, noted, “A building’s inclusion on the list does not necessarily mean that a building is at greater risk compared to other buildings from the same period. We look forward to sharing more information and reaching out to building owners and members of the community.” community because we better understand which buildings may be most at risk.”

The city is also working with housing advocates like Maria Zamudio, to ensure that tenants are not displaced by retrofitting some apartment buildings.

“Complete and correct observation to tenants, and making sure they consider relocation,” said the organizing director of the San Francisco Housing Rights Commission.

Come this summer, when a draft law with plans for concrete buildings is published, the public will have a say before it’s finalized.

Read Strong’s full statement below:

“The City is developing the Concrete Building Safety Program in collaboration with national experts and local stakeholders. The program supports San Francisco’s efforts to protect lives and safety and make our city more resilient in the event of a major earthquake.

It is important to note that this list in its current form is a rough draft to get you started. The inclusion of a building in the list does not necessarily mean that the building is at greater risk compared to other buildings from the same time period. We look forward to sharing more information and communicating with building owners and community members as we better understand which buildings are at risk.”




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