Dear Colleagues:Thank you again for expressing interest in the Concrete Coalition, a project of EERI, PEER and ATC. During the last few months we have been making progress behind the scenes. We realize that a number of you are hoping to play a more active role, which we truly welcome, and we now feel we are close to being able to accommodate wider involvement. Please read this e-mail update. We hope you will take the time to fill out the critical deficiencies survey and to let us know if you would be willing to fill out a community risk profile.
City of Los Angeles
Craig Comartin, the project director, has been taking the lead in assisting Councilmember Smith’s office of the City of Los Angeles develop a program that will address the risks represented by older concrete buildings. This program should be announced in November, and we’re hopeful that it might spur other jurisdictions into more directly addressing the problem.
Basic Building Inventories
PEER, as part of its grand challenge project, has developed a basic building inventory form that they have encouraged firms in Los Angeles to complete. You can see this form, and a further explanation of the inventory project here.
Top Ten Building Deficiencies
As part of the inventory project, PEER has also developed a survey of the top ten deficiencies associated with this building type–everyone is encouraged to fill this survey out. Please visit the website and complete the survey. It will help PEER in its Grand Challenge project as well as the Concrete Coalition more generally, to understand what the engineering community thinks are the critical weaknesses for this building class.
Community Risk Profiles
The steering committee has developed a draft of a community risk profile that asks a number of questions that will help us understand the dimension of this problem in individual communities. The profile has a critical set of questions and then a larger number of questions where it would be helpful to know the answer, but not as critical. This draft, along with instructions, will be complete in the next few weeks. If you would be willing to fill out such a form for a community, can you e-mail Marjorie Greene at email@example.com and let her know what community you would be willing to take on.
The project currently has two committees–a steering committee and a data management committee. The project is also gathering partner organizations –those organizations that share the goal of understanding and reducing the risk associated with nonductile concrete buildings. To date, the American Concrete Institute and the Structural Engineers Association of California have signed MOUs with the Concrete Coalition. The U.S. Geological Survey is also a partner.
The San Francisco Chronicle had a recent article on the problem of older concrete buildings which drew on material provided by Coalition members.
We will keep you updated of progress in this project on a regular basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or any of the steering committee.
The Concrete Coalition–Up and Running
The recent earthquake in China reminds us of the problems and resulting tragedies associated with poorly constructed non-ductile concrete frames–photo to right is of a damaged hospital. (Photo: K. Miyamoto)
The Concrete Coalition is a network of individuals, governments, institutions, and agencies with shared interest in assessing the risk associated with dangerous non-ductile concrete buildings and developing strategies for fixing them. It is a program of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and its partners, the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center and the Applied Technology Council. The Coalition has been awarded funding from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program through the California Office of Emergency Services to help the state of California identify and assess the earthquake risk posed by nonductile concrete buildings.
Building officials play a key role in helping understand the dimension of this problem and the possible solutions. We need your help and participation in the development of community risk profiles and other activities.
JOIN THE NETWORK. BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION.
register your interest here.
As noted in a previous newsletter, the Concrete Coalition has received funding from the California Office of Emergency Services to help define the problem of non-ductile concrete frames in California. The response to request for volunteers was very encouraging as 50 EERI members and others responded positively. A steering committee for the project as well as a database subcommittee are in the process of being formed. The project will be chaired by EERI past-president Craig Comartin. Steering committee members
include: David Bonowitz, Michael Cochran, Nick DelliQuadri, Ken Elwood, Bill Holmes, Joan MacQuarrie, Peter May, Dave McCormick, Jack Moehle, Chris Rojahn, Susan Tubbesing, Fred Turner, and Ken Worman. Representatives from the business community are in the process of being identified.
Volunteers and others interested in the project are encouraged to visit the website www.concretecoalition.org for more information and updates. In particular, please review and suggest additions to the compilation of resources that would be helpful in understanding this problem-publications, model ordinances, white papers, design guidelines, etc. Visit the website to see what has been posted to date. Questions? Contact Marjorie Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EERI and its Concrete Coalition has just been awarded funding from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program through the California Office of Emergency Services to help the state of California identify and assess the earthquake risk posed by nonductile concrete buildings. Poor seismic performance of such buildings has been demonstrated repeatedly in recent earthquakes, including Turkey, Taiwan, Sumatra, Pakistan, and in the U.S.’ moderate Northridge earthquake in 1994. These buildings are widespread. They were a prevalent construction type in the western U.S. prior to enforcement of codes for ductile concrete in the mid-1970s. Los Angeles County Assessor rolls suggest that about 14,000 of them exist in LA County alone; and the California Seismic Safety Commission estimates there are 40,000 throughout California. A scenario based on a repeat of the San Francisco 1906 event in the San Francisco Bay Area today confirms that a large proportion of the deaths and serious injuries would be attributable to the collapse of nonductile concrete buildings.
Funds will be used to support the development of a web-based database of information on inventories, retrofits, local ordinances, etc. EERI is seeking volunteers willing to be local community representatives to help gather this information. In addition, honorarium funds are available for a project director and a 5-member steering committee who will work closely with EERI’s project manager. If you are interested in being considered for one of these positions, please contact Marjorie Greene at the EERI office before February 20th or go to the project website at www.concretecoalition.org to fill out the volunteer form there.
EERI will conduct this project collaboratively with the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center (PEER) and the Applied Technology Council. PEER has received a National Science Foundation Grand Challenge to determine how widespread the collapse hazard is in the existing nonductile concrete building stock and to develop engineering and policy tools to identify and reduce the risk of hazardous buildings.
Once the database is created and EERI is collecting information in California, the intent is to expand to other areas in the U.S. and internationally. Visit www.concretecoalition.org to register your interest and check back frequently to see what’s new.