UPDATE ON CONCRETE COALITION FROM PROJECT DIRECTOR
It has been a while since we have written you with progress about the Concrete Coalition, but we want to let you know about progress we have been making behind the scenes, and about the activity we would now like to kick into high gear.
First, as you hopefully recall, for the last six months we have been working with Councilman Greig Smith’s office in the City of Los Angeles to help them develop an approach to handling older concrete frame buildings. Simultaneously, the PEER Grand Challenge project has been working to identify how many buildings in the City of Los Angeles are pre-1980 reinforced concrete frames, and they have determined that there are 1300-1500 such buildings. Using the grossest extrapolation technique, this suggests that there might be 5-10,000 such buildings in the state, perhaps an order of magnitude less than the 40,000 that has been sometimes estimated. This is significant and encouraging because it suggests that the problem might be more manageable than originally thought. Councilman Smith’s approach to the problem will be unveiled at the International Earthquake Conference in Los Angeles this week.
Second, we are beginning to make progress on collecting data on individual jurisdictions. For each city in the high seismic risk counties of California we are hoping to answer, with data and/or expert judgment, these four questions:
- How many buildings are in the community?
- How many are built prior to 1980?
- How many are concrete?
- How many are both built prior to 1980 and concrete?
To help put these answers in context we have developed a community risk profile which asks additional questions about demographics and building stock. This will help us determine the kind of risk represented by buildings in these communities.
Our steering committee members have each taken one or two “pilot” communities where they are completing the community risk profile and attempting to answer these four questions. These profiles will be discussed by the steering committee and posted on the Concrete Coalition website in early December:
Berkeley-Joan McQuarrie and Heidi Faison
Palo Alto-Chris Rojahn
San Francisco-David Bonowitz
Los Angeles-Nick DelliQuadri
Glendale- Nick DelliQuadri
Long Beach-Michael Cochran
In the meantime, we are developing a map of California with counties of interest highlighted. Individual cities in these counties will be listed, and we are now looking for volunteer coordinators to help organize the data-gathering effort for each of these cities. The cities, showing their dates of incorporation and population, are here: list-of-cities-by-county. We are most interested in cities that have been incorporated prior to 1980, and with enough population to suggest the presence of concrete buildings. As soon as we have this map ready we will let you know, but in the meantime, if you are interested in helping gather information in a particular city, or if you know that a certain city does NOT have older concrete buildings, please send Marjorie Greene an e-mail at email@example.com.
We look forward to working with you more actively in the coming months.