You are on page 1of 1

University of California Statement on Seismic Safety Study Since 2007, a team led by University of California researchers has studied

the seismic safety of a specific building construction type -- older (generally pre-1980) reinforced concrete buildings. The university is committed to furthering public understanding of the seismic risk associated with this building type and contributing in a constructive and scientifically rigorous manner to the body of information available to policymakers addressing seismic risk. This research was undertaken for exactly that purpose. It is important to clear up any confusion regarding what this study is and is not. The study, which is nearing completion, is an assessment of the seismic collapse potential of a type of building. It is not a seismic assessment of specific buildings. Evaluating the seismic risk of specific buildings would require inspection of each building, confirmation of the construction methods and design, and consideration of updated information regarding seismic reinforcement work or other efforts that may have taken place in recent years to improve seismic performance. The methodology of the researchers’ work did not include these kinds of evaluations because the research concerns the building type generally and not the safety of specific structures. The research does rely upon survey data generally confirming that approximately 1,500 structures in Los Angeles are thought to be of reinforced concrete construction and constructed between roughly 1920 and 1980. The building inventory was prepared for the purpose of quantifying the overall seismic risk associated with this building type in the city of Los Angeles, but the structures in the survey have not been analyzed to determine whether individual buildings pose any specific level of seismic risk. Release of information regarding individual buildings that was compiled for a prescribed methodological purpose without a clear description of the methodological parameters and the scientific context could cause undue and unnecessary alarm. The University does not intend to release information in a manner that it considers to be irresponsible or inconsistent with the scientific context. The university has not received a written request from the City of Los Angeles for the inventory portion of the research underlying the study, nor has the City of Los Angeles communicated specifically how it might use the inventory given the inventory’s lack of specific evaluation of individual buildings. The University is prepared to discuss use of the inventory for purposes other than the scientific purpose for which it was created with the City of Los Angeles, but those discussions have not yet occurred in anything other than an a very informal and preliminary manner. Ultimately, the research team does plan to post confirmed and reliable publicly accessible data from the study on a public website.