UC Seismic Program Guidelines


1. Introduction
2. Objective

3. UC Buildings Seismic Profile
4. Prioritization of Seismic Projects
5. Finances
6. Program Management
7. Compliance Procedures
8. References
9. Abbreviations
10. Exhibits & Attachments

1. Introduction

The procedures and guidelines located in the UC Facilities Manual are a current and central source of information regarding guidance for UC Seismic Safety Policy (Policy) compliance.  The purpose of the UC Facilities Manual UC Seismic Program guidelines is to highlight and clarify portions of the Policy.  These guidelines should not be used as a substitute for the Policy. For instances where information in the Policy and the Facilities Manual vary, campuses must follow the most conservative approach considering immediate and long-term preservation of life-safety.

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2. Objective

UC Facilities Manual, Seismic Program Guidelines serve as a resource and reference for campuses to maintain compliance with the UC Seismic Safety Policy.

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3. UC Buildings Seismic Profile

3.1 Building Evaluations and Seismic Performance Ratings

The Policy requires that all facilities used for University-related purposes be seismically evaluated and rated (i.e., assigned a Seismic Performance Rating from Table 1 below). Building evaluations, except as noted in the Facilities Manual, Seismic Program Guidelines (e.g., Section 3.2.4) must be performed by a Consulting Structural Engineer (CSE), as defined in the Policy. 

Table 1 - Expected Seismic Performance Ratings (1)

A building evaluated as meeting or exceeding the requirements of CBC Part 10 Chapter 3 for Risk Category IV performance criteria with BSE-1N and BSE-2N hazard levels replacing BSE-R and BSE-C as given in Chapter 3.

I

A building evaluated as meeting or exceeding the requirements of CBC Part 10 Chapter 3 for Risk Category IV performance criteria.

II

A building evaluated as meeting or exceeding the requirements of CBC Part 10 Chapter 3 for Risk Category I-III performance criteria with BSE- 1N and BSE-2N hazard levels replacing BSE-R and BSE-C respectively as given in Chapter 3; alternatively, a building meeting CBC requirements for a new building.

III

A building evaluated as meeting or exceeding the requirements of CBC Part 10 Chapter 3 for Risk Category I-III performance criteria.

IV

A building evaluated as meeting or exceeding the requirements of CBC Part 10 Chapter 3 for Risk Category I-III performance criteria only if the BSE-R and BSE-C values are reduced to 2/3 of those specified for the site,

AND

Satisfies criteria outlined in “Procedure for Identifying Leased UC Buildings with a Seismic Performance Rating of Va” (see Section 3.2.2.G, and Exhibits & Attachments).

Va

A building evaluated as meeting or exceeding the requirements of CBC Part 10 Chapter 3 for Risk Category I-III performance criteria only if the BSE-R and BSE-C values are reduced to 2/3 of those specified for the site.

V

A building evaluated as not meeting the minimum requirements for Rating V designation and not requiring a Rating VII designation.

VI

A building evaluated as posing an immediate life-safety hazard to its occupants under gravity loads. The building should be evacuated and posted as dangerous until remedial actions are taken to assure the building can support CBC prescribed dead and live loads.

VII

Definition (2), (3)

Expected Seismic Performance Rating (1)

 

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Notes

(1) Determination of expected Seismic Performance Ratings are based on the California Code of Regulations, Part 10, California Building Code (CBC) (Current Edition). Expected Seismic Performance Ratings are indicated by Roman numerals I through VII. Assignments are to be made following a professional assessment of the building’s expected seismic performance as measured by a CSE’s experience or referenced technical standard and earthquake ground motions. Seismic Performance Ratings must be assigned as listed in Table 1 - equivalent Arabic numerals, fractional values, or plus or minus values are not to be used. These assignments were prepared by a task force of state agency technical personnel, including the California State University, the University of California, the California Department of General Services, the Division of the State Architect, and the Administrative Office of the Courts. The ratings apply to structural and non-structural elements of the building as contained in Chapter 3, CBC Part 10 requirements. These definitions replace those previously used by these agencies.

(2) Definitions based upon California Building Code (CBC) requirements for seismic evaluation of buildings using Risk Categories of CBC Table 1604A.5, depending on which applies, and performance criteria in CBC Table 317.5 - Seismic Performance Rating Va is an adaptation applicable only to University of California buildings.

(3) Chapter 3 of the California Building Code Part 10, current edition, regulates existing buildings. It uses and references the American Society of Civil Engineers Standard Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings, ASCE-41-13. All earthquake ground motion criteria are specific to the site of the evaluated building. The CBC definitions for earthquake ground motions to be assessed are paraphrased below for convenience:

  • BSE-2N, the 2,475-year return period earthquake ground motion, or 150% of the Maximum Considered Earthquake ground motion for the site.
  • BSE-C, the 975-year return period earthquake ground motion.
  • BSE-1N, two-thirds of the BSE-2N, nominally, the 475-year return period earthquake ground motion.
  • BSE-R, the 225-year return period earthquake ground motion.

Risk Category is defined in the CBC Table 1604A.5. The risk category, as differentiated from the Seismic Performance Rating, sets the level of required seismic building performance under the CBC. Risk Category IV includes acute care hospitals, fire, rescue and police stations and emergency vehicle garages, designated emergency shelters, emergency operations centers, and structures containing highly toxic materials where the quantities exceed the maximum allowed quantities, among others. Risk categories I-III includes all other building uses that include most state-owned buildings.

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3.2 Evaluation and Rating Protocols

3.2.1 Existing University Facilities

Requirement to survey and rate existing University Facilities can be satisfied as follows: 

A) Retention of a Consulting Structural Engineer (CSE) to complete an ASCE 41-17 evaluation. If initial ASCE 41-17 Tier 1 evaluations are inconclusive or if the building is rated V or worse, additional ASCE 41-17 Tier 2 or Tier 3 studies may be required to confirm the rating and/or proceed with detailed scoping of seismic improvements.
 
B) Retention of a CSE to complete a FEMA P-154 Third Edition Level 1 minimum evaluation for the following building types, if determined to be applicable by a CSE:
 
i) Wood- or metal-framed buildings with OGSF less than 2,000-square feet (sf); 
ii) A building of any construction type with OGSF less than 1,000-sf;

 

If initial FEMA Level 1 evaluations are inconclusive or if the building is rated V or worse, additional studies will be required to confirm the rating and/or proceed with detailed scoping of seismic improvements. 

C) An existing rating for any University Facility may be acceptable if the campus provides documentation by a CSE verifying an acceptable basis of seismic evaluation (i.e., FEMA 356, ASCE 31-03, ASCE 41-06 or later, or FEMA P-154 for buildings described in paragraph 3.2.1.B above) was completed in 2006 or later. A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.1.C is the  Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.

 

D) A University Facility may be presumptively rated as III, if all the following are true:
 
i) Design and construction were managed by a campus following UC policies. 
ii) The campus provides documentation by a CSE verifying that the building code used as the basis of the original design and construction is in accordance with the benchmark design code year (or later) building code seismic design provisions for UBC or IBC listed in Table 2 below; and 
iii) The campus concludes there is no cause for further investigation using ASCE 41. 
A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.1.D is the  Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.
 
E) A building that has been retrofitted by the campus following UC policies may meet this requirement. Unless the campus has reason to further investigate a building using ASCE 41, a building for which a comprehensive building seismic retrofit design was fully-constructed with a design completed in 2000 or later, as indicated on the contract documents, may be presumptively rated as described below:
 
i) For retrofit designs based on ground motion parameters corresponding to BSE-1 (or BSE-1N) and BSE-2 (or BSE-2N) as defined in ASCE 41, or the full design basis ground motion required in the 1997 UBC/1998 or later CBC for NEW buildings, the Seismic Performance Rating may be presumed to be III. 
ii) For retrofit designs based on ground motion parameters corresponding to BSE-1E (or BSE-R) and BSE-2E (or BSE-C) as defined in ASCE 41, or the full design basis ground motion required in the 1997 UBC/1998 CBC or later for EXISTING buildings, the Seismic Performance Rating may be presumed to be IV.
To accept the retrofit design basis presumptions described above, the campus must provide documentation by a CSE verifying that the year of completion of the seismic retrofit design conforms to the above requirement, and that the retrofit design basis conformed to the applicable UC Seismic Policy and utilized the applicable ground motion basis described above for the selected Seismic Performance Rating. A comprehensive retrofit addresses the entire building structural system as indicated by the associated seismic evaluation, as opposed to addressing selective portions of the structural system. Ground motion parameter evaluation will consider ground motions at the time of seismic retrofit design, not “present-day” ground motions applicable at the time of evaluation. A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.1.E is the  Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.

 

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3.2.2 Campus-Acquired or Leased University Facilities

Requirement to rate campus-acquired or leased University Facilities can be satisfied as follows: 

A) Retention of a CSE to complete an ASCE 41-17 evaluation. If initial ASCE 41-17 Tier 1 evaluations are inconclusive or if the building is rated V or worse, additional ASCE 41-17 Tier 2 or Tier 3 studies may be required to confirm the rating and/or proceed with detailed scoping of seismic improvements.

 

B) Retention of a CSE to complete a FEMA P-154 Third Edition evaluation as described below, if determined to be applicable by a CSE:

 

(1) a FEMA P-154 Third Edition Level 1 minimum evaluation for the following building types:
 
i) Wood- or metal-framed buildings with OGSF less than 2,000-square feet (sf); 
ii) A building of any construction type with OGSF less than 1,000-sf;
 
If initial FEMA Level 1 evaluations are inconclusive or if the building is rated V or worse, additional studies will be required to confirm the rating and/or proceed with detailed scoping of seismic improvements.

 

(2) a FEMA P-154 Third Edition Level 2 evaluation for currently-leased buildings where drawings are not available, and whose structure conforms to one of the FEMA P-154 Model Building Types. This paragraph 3.2.2.B.2 applies strictly for existing lease agreements. This paragraph 3.2.2.B.2 does not apply for new lease agreements, e.g., lease extensions or potential lease agreements for buildings not currently leased.
 
For buildings that conform to criteria of this paragraph 3.2.2.B.2 and whose resulting FEMA P-154 Final Level 2 Score is greater than or equal to 2.0, the Seismic Performance Rating may be presumed to be IV.
 
For buildings that conform to criteria of this paragraph 3.2.2.B.2 and whose resulting FEMA P-154 Final Level 2 Score is less than 2.0 and greater than or equal to 1.0, the Seismic Performance Rating is presumed to be V.
 
For buildings that conform to criteria of this paragraph 3.2.2.B.2 and whose resulting FEMA P-154 Final Level 2 Score is below 1.0, the Seismic Performance Rating is presumed to be VI.
 
C) An existing rating for any University Facility may be acceptable if the campus provides documentation by a CSE verifying an acceptable basis of seismic evaluation (i.e., FEMA 356, ASCE 31-03, ASCE 41-06 or later, or FEMA P-154 for buildings described in paragraph 3.2.2.B above) was completed in 2006 or later. A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.2.C is the  Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.
 
D) A building may be presumptively rated IV, if the campus provides documentation by a CSE verifying that the building code used as the basis of the original design and construction is in accordance with the benchmark design code year (or later) building code seismic design provisions for UBC or IBC listed in Table 2 below, and the campus concludes there is no cause for further investigation by ASCE 41. A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.2.D is the  Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.
 
E) A building that has been retrofitted, not by a UC campus following UC policies, may be eligible to be presumptively rated. Unless the campus has reason to further investigate by ASCE 41, a building for which a comprehensive building seismic retrofit design was fully-constructed with an engineered design based on the 1997 UBC/1998 or later CBC, as indicated on the contract documents, may be presumptively rated as IV. This rating will apply regardless of whether the ground motion basis used was intended for existing buildings or new buildings.
 
To accept the retrofit design basis presumptions described above, the campus must provide documentation by a CSE verifying that the year of completion of the seismic retrofit design conforms to the above requirement. A comprehensive retrofit addresses the entire building structural system as indicated by the associated seismic evaluation, as opposed to addressing selective portions of the structural system. A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.2.E is the  Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.

F) A building that has been retrofitted by the campus following UC policies may meet this requirement. Unless the campus has reason to further investigate a building using ASCE 41, a building for which a comprehensive building seismic retrofit design was fully-constructed with a design completed in 2000 or later, as indicated on the contract documents, may be presumptively rated as described below:

i) For retrofit designs based on ground motion parameters corresponding to BSE-1 (or BSE-1N) and BSE-2 (or BSE-2N) as defined in ASCE 41, or the full design basis ground motion required in the 1997 UBC/1998 or later CBC for NEW buildings, the Seismic Performance Rating may be presumed to be III.

ii) For retrofit designs based on ground motion parameters corresponding to BSE-1E (or BSE-R) and BSE-2E (or BSE-C) as defined in ASCE 41, or the full design basis ground motion required in the 1997 UBC/1998 CBC or later for EXISTING buildings, the Seismic Performance Rating may be presumed to be IV.

To accept the retrofit design basis presumptions described above, the campus must provide documentation by a CSE verifying that the year of completion of the seismic retrofit design conforms to the above requirement, and that the retrofit design basis conformed to the applicable UC Seismic Policy and utilized the applicable ground motion basis described above for the selected Seismic Performance Rating. A comprehensive retrofit addresses the entire building structural system as indicated by the associated seismic evaluation, as opposed to addressing selective portions of the structural system. Ground motion parameter evaluation will consider ground motions at the time of seismic retrofit design, not “present-day” ground motions applicable at the time of evaluation. A form that campuses can use to document the presumptive rating pursuant to this paragraph 3.2.2.F is the Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating which is provided as an attachment.

G) Currently leased facilities less than 50,000 gross square feet (total building area) identified as Seismic Performance Rating Va may be permitted to renew leases up to December 31, 2030 through a Policy waiver.

A CSE must be retained to evaluate the facility to meet criteria outlined in “Procedure for Identifying Leased UC Buildings with a Seismic Performance Rating of Va” to be assigned a rating of Va (see Exhibits & Attachments). Facilities assigned a rating of V through an ASCE/SEI 41-17 Tier 1 or Tier 2 evaluation when drawings are available, or a FEMA P-154 Level 2 evaluation when drawings are not available are eligible to be assigned a rating of Va. Facilities assigned a rating of V through an ASCE/SEI 41-17 Tier 3 evaluation are not eligible to be assigned a rating of Va. Only Risk Category I, II, or III structures are eligible to be assigned a rating of Va.

In order to renew a lease for a facility rated Va, the campus must request and receive a Policy waiver (see Section 7.4 Seismic Safety Policy Waivers, and Exhibits & Attachments).

 

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3.2.3 Other Structures 

A) Bridges: Campus Architects are responsible for developing an inventory of “significant” pedestrian and vehicular bridges at respective campuses. Bridge inventories must include photographs of the structures. Bridge “significance” refers to the dimension, material type, types of supports, and use of the structure. UCOP and the SAB will review campus bridge inventories and determine which bridges must be evaluated, and the scope, attributes, and issues each evaluation will cover.

For additional instructions please contact ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu.

B) Tanks: Campus Architects are responsible for developing an inventory of “significant” tanks (e.g. water, chemical, etc.) at respective campuses. Tank inventories must include photographs of the structures. Tank “significance” refers to the dimension, material type, and types of supports, and use of the structure. UCOP and the SAB will review campus tank inventories to determine which tanks must be evaluated, and the scope, attributes, and issues each evaluation will cover.

For additional instructions please contact ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu.

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3.2.4 Exception to Rating Requirement

 

A) All University Facilities must have a rating meeting the requirements of the UC Seismic Safety Policy except campuses may choose to not rate the following:

 

(1) Vacant buildings where access is prohibited. 
(2) Buildings to be demolished within 12 months where funding is secured to pay for the demolition. 
(3) Buildings or structures that conform to ALL of items (3.a) through (3.h), and AT LEAST ONE of items (3.i) through (3.iii): 
(3.a) one story;
(3.b) non-residential;
(3.c) not located on a slope of more than one half-story between the highest grade and the lowest grade adjacent to the perimeter of the structure;
(3.d) do not have masonry chimneys or similar falling hazards;
(3.e) have automatic shut off valves when served by propane or natural gas;
(3.f) do not contain emergency response personnel, equipment or utilities;
(3.g) seismic geotechnical hazards do not significantly affect the building vulnerability;
(3.h) if the roof contains glass or glass-like panels, a structural engineer must verify that these components are either tempered glass, acrylic or other plastic material such as “Plexiglas”.

(3.i) Are under 1,000 square feet built of any construction type;
(3.ii) Are under 2,000 square feet built of wood or light metal frame construction;
(3.iii) Are under 10,000 square feet, of height less than 35 feet, built of wood or steel framing with no concrete or masonry above the foundation, and are used for storage or as barns, livestock sheds, lath houses, screen houses, greenhouses or other similar use. There must be no assigned occupants to the building, and access must only be allowed on an infrequent basis and for limited time periods.

 For buildings that meet the above criteria and are elected to not be rated, the campus must document, at a minimum, the following information: 

1) Building name,
2) CAAN identification,
3) Floor area value (outside gross square feet),
4) ASCE or FEMA model building type,
5) Meets rating exemption criteria,
6) Evaluation firm (or Campus, whichever is applicable), and
7) Full Name of the evaluator in the “Evaluator Initials” field. 
For additional instructions please contact ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu

B) Modular Units may be eligible for exception to the Policy rating requirement.

Modular Units refer to relocatable prefabricated structures, typically of wood- or light-metal frame construction, that include:

  • Manufactured homes built per U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.
  • Modular buildings such as factory built units or modules that may not have a permanent chassis or axles and are typically transported by flatbed trucks and placed on a foundation onsite by crane.

Modular Units can have various functions, such as temporary buildings, offices, and classrooms, and are commonly referred to by interchangeable names, such as “trailers,” “office trailers,” “modular unit,” “mobile home,” “manufactured housing,” “commercial modular,” or “portable.”

A campus may elect not to rate Modular Units that conform to all the following criteria:

(1) Single story (i.e., not vertically stacked);
(2) Not located on a slope of more than one half-story between the highest grade and the lowest grade adjacent to the perimeter of the unit;
(3) Not located atop a known geologic hazard (e.g., surface fault rupture, liquefaction-induced lateral spread, or landslide) – if the site is located in a mapped Seismic Hazard Zone, the geologic hazard must be assumed to be present, unless it is known not to exist at the site;
(4) No gas utility service, or if gas utility service is present, an automatic shutoff valve and flexible couplings are installed;
(5) Nonstructural equipment and materials are anchored per Building Code requirements and manufacturer guidelines. 

If a Modular Unit conforms to the above criteria except that gas utility service is present without an automatic shutoff valve, in lieu of performing an ASCE 41-17 or FEMA P-154 evaluation and assigning a Seismic Performance Rating, an automatic shutoff valve and flexible couplings must be installed to meet this exception to the Policy rating requirement. 

C) Non-occupied utility structures such as steam tunnels, underground electrical vaults, and substations need not be seismically evaluated. This exception does not apply to buildings that are occupied (even occasionally), nor to central plants, storage facilities, or structures housing hazardous materials, boilers, or other gas or petroleum-fired equipment units. 

D) Any building that has undergone a comprehensive seismic retrofit after 2019 is exempted from further Policy-required evaluation or retrofit for 25 years from the date of the retrofit design standard being used (e.g., 2017 if ASCE 41-17 is used), except when the SAB determines re-evaluation is necessary based on new information and data from (1) recent earthquakes or (2) engineering standards. CEBC 317 still applies and must be followed.

Please reference Guidelines Section 3.2.1.E or 3.2.2.E & F for an explanation of a comprehensive seismic retrofit. 

E) Any building that has undergone a comprehensive seismic retrofit since 2000 (as confirmed by the SAB per UC Seismic Program Guidelines) is exempted from further Policy-required evaluation or retrofit for 25 years from the date of the retrofit design standard being used (e.g., 2017 if ASCE 41-17 is used), except when the SAB determines re-evaluation is necessary based on new information and data from (1) recent earthquakes or (2) engineering standards. CEBC 317 still applies and must be followed.

Please reference Guidelines Section 3.2.1.E or 3.2.2.E & F for an explanation of a comprehensive seismic retrofit. 

F) Buildings rated IV or better (per ASCE 41) after June 2018 per current UC Seismic Program Guidelines, will remain valid and do not require re-evaluation for 15 years from date of final evaluation report completion, except when the SAB determines re-evaluation is necessary based on new information and data from (1) recent earthquakes or (2) engineering standards.

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Table 2 - Benchmark Building Codes and Standards (1)

Building Type (a, b) Building Seismic Design Provisions
UBC (2) IBC (3)
Wood frame, wood shear panels (Types W1 and W2) 1976 2000
Wood frame, wood shear panels (Type W1a) 1976  (j) 2000
Steel moment-resisting frame (Types S1 and S1a) 1997  (j) 2000
Steel concentrically braced frame (Types S2 and S2a) 1997 2000
Steel eccentrically braced frame (Types S2 and S2a) 1988  (g) 2000
Buckling-restrained braced frame (Types S2 and S2a) (f) 2006
Metal building frames (Type S3)       (f) 2000
Steel frame with concrete shear walls (Type S4) 1994 2000
Steel frame with URM infill (Types S5 and S5a) (f) 2000
Steel plate shear wall (Type S6) (f) 2006
Cold-formed steel light-frame construction—shear wall system (Type CFS1) 1997  (h) 2000
Cold-formed steel light-frame construction—strap-braced wall system (Type CFS2) (f) 2003
Reinforced concrete moment-resisting frame (Type C1)  (i) 1994 2000
Reinforced concrete shear walls (Types C2 and C2a) 1994 2000
Concrete frame with URM infill (Types C3 and C3a) (f) (f, j)
Tilt-up concrete (Types PC1 and PC1a) 1997 2000

Precast concrete frame (Types PC2 and PC2a)

(f) 2000
Reinforced masonry (Type RM1) 1997 2000
Reinforced masonry (Type RM2) 1994 2000
Unreinforced masonry (Type URM) (f) (f, j)
Unreinforced masonry (Type URMa) (f) (f, j)
Seismic isolation or passive dissipation 1991 2000

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Notes:

(1) This table has been adapted from ASCE 41-17 Table 3-2. Benchmark Building Codes and Standards for Life Safety Structural Performed at BSE-1E.
(2) UBC = Uniform Building Code
(3) IBC = International Building Code
(a) Building type refers to one of the common building types defined in Table 3-1 of ASCE 41-17.
(b) Buildings on hillside sites are not considered Benchmark Buildings.
(c) not used
(d) not used
(e) not used
(f) No benchmark year; buildings must be evaluated in accordance with the UC Seismic Safety Policy and Seismic Program Guidelines.
(g) Steel eccentrically braced frames with links adjacent to columns must comply with the 1994 UBC Emergency Provisions, published September/October 1994, or subsequent requirements.
(h) Cold-formed steel shear walls with wood structural panels only.
(i) Flat slab concrete moment frames are not considered Benchmark Buildings.
(j) Shaded cells are intentionally modified from ASCE 41-17 Table 3-2.

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3.3 Evaluation Reporting Requirements

Each building evaluation and rating basis must be documented as described in this Section. For additional instructions please contact ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu.

A) Buildings with existing ratings must be confirmed with documentation by a CSE (e.g., Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating) verifying an acceptable basis of seismic evaluation (e.g. FEMA 356, ASCE 31, ASCE 41, or FEMA P-154) was completed in 2006 or later.

Please refer to Section 3.2 to confirm the acceptable basis of seismic evaluation for various building sizes and construction types.

B) Buildings requiring an ASCE 41-17 evaluation must be documented with a Building Report and applicable ASCE 41-17 checklists. Building Report requirements are described within this Section and within the Building Report Requirements attachment. ASCE 41-17 checklists are provided as an attachment.

C) Buildings evaluated per FEMA P-154 must be documented, at a minimum, with the FEMA P-154 Level 1 Data Collection Form and additional requirements described in this Section. FEMA P-154 evaluation score conversion to a rating must be based on CSE judgment and evaluation based on criteria described in Table 1. The rating must be reported in the “Comments” section of the FEMA P-154 Data Collection Form.

Please refer to Section 3.2.1.B and Section 3.2.2.B for building criteria in which a FEMA P-154 evaluation is acceptable.

D) Buildings that qualify for presumptive ratings must be confirmed with documentation by a CSE (e.g., Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating) verifying that the building code used as the basis of the design and construction is in accordance with the applicable presumptive rating criteria described in Section 3.2.

For newly constructed buildings, within 45 days of issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, presumptive ratings must be confirmed with submitted documentation completed by a CSE (e.g., Certificate of Seismic Performance Rating) verifying that the building code used as the basis of the design and construction is in accordance with the applicable presumptive rating criteria described in Section 3.2.

E) All building evaluations must include a survey of potential falling hazards. Scope of falling hazard surveys must include representative building walk-through observations (including public access areas such as walkways, building perimeters, assembly areas, as well as ingress and egress pathways of travel) and reporting of features presenting a high potential life or safety hazard to occupants, or storage of materials that pose a safety hazard. Risk assessment should be based on engineering judgment, guided by observed past seismic performance of similar features and does not require completion of an ASCE 41 “Nonstructural Checklist”. Such hazards may include, but are not limited to:

i) Heavy ceilings, features or ornamentation above large lecture halls, auditoriums, lobbies or other areas where large numbers of people congregate;

ii) Heavy masonry or stone veneer above exit ways and public access areas;

iii) Unbraced masonry parapets, cornices or other ornamentation above exit ways and public access areas;

iv) Unrestrained hazardous materials storage;

v) Masonry chimneys; and

vi) Unrestrained natural gas-fueled equipment such as water heaters, boilers, emergency generators, etc.

F) All building evaluations and presumptive rating verifications must include firsthand visual observation of the building by the evaluator to verify existing conditions conform to engineering drawings and other supporting information (e.g., building reports, remote imagery, permit records, etc.)

G) All building evaluations and bases for ratings must incorporate site-specific ground motion data, where available, to ensure that evaluations use the most current geo-seismic data. USGS ground motion data are acceptable if site-specific ground motion data are not readily available.

H) A “building” identified by a single CAAN ID number that has more than one structurally separate unit (e.g., a six-story main structure with an adjacent separate one-story structure) requires a rating for each structurally separate portion. The main building must be identified by the current CAAN ID number and each auxiliary unit by the same CAAN ID number with a decimal number suffix (e.g., main building CAAN ID 1034; auxiliary building CAAN ID 1034.1).

I) For all buildings, the CSE must provide an approximate range of retrofit costs in the following Cost-Range categories:

i) Low: less than $50 per square foot (sf)

ii) Medium: greater than $50 per sf and less than $200 per sf

iii) High: greater than $200 per sf and less than $400 per sf

iv) Very High: greater than $400 per sf

 Assume a complete retrofit conforming to the current UC Policy. Note this range includes all construction costs, including code upgrades (e.g., accessibility, fire and life safety, mechanical, electrical, plumbing) triggered by the seismic retrofit.  It is acknowledged that such a cost range is assumed to be based only on the engineer’s rough estimate and is not intended to require input from a professional cost estimator. No specific estimate is required to be supplied at this time, only select Cost-Range category Low, Medium, High or Very High. For estimation purposes, CSEs may judgmentally determine an approximate cost range for seismic retrofits based on recent relevant experience, and then apply a multiplier to approximate total construction costs.

J) Buildings that meet rating exception criteria described in Section 3.2.4.A, and are elected to not be rated, the campus must document, at a minimum, the following information:

1) Building name,
2) CAAN identification,
3) Floor area value (outside gross square feet),
4) ASCE or FEMA model building type,
5) Meets rating exemption criteria,
6) Evaluation firm (or Campus, whichever is applicable), and
7) Full Name of the evaluator in the “Evaluator Initials” field.

 

For additional instructions please contact ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu.

 

K) Facilities that meet criteria to be assigned Seismic Performance Rating Va must be documented by a CSE using the “Certificate of Va Seismic Performance Rating Determination” (see Exhibits & Attachments).

In order to renew a lease for a facility rated Va, the campus must request and receive a Policy waiver (see Section 7.4 Seismic Safety Policy Waivers, and Exhibits & Attachments).

 

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4. Prioritization of Seismic Projects

For buildings that have been determined to have a Seismic Performance Rating of V, VI, or VII, the affected campus must develop a systematic plan including prioritization that is included annually within the Capital Financial Plan.

Campuses must consider relevant factors when developing the prioritization plan, including but not limited to:

      1. Seismic Performance Rating from current seismic evaluation
      2. Building occupancy risk
      3. Building collapse risk
      4. Falling hazards (e.g., unbraced parapets or unanchored gable walls over exit paths)
      5. Geologic hazard potential (e.g., site located in mapped Seismic Hazard Zone, landslides, fault rupture, liquefaction)
      6. Logistics (e.g., locations to stage displaced building occupants during seismic upgrade work)
      7. Cost-benefit (e.g., the amount of improved performance compared to a project’s cost, evaluation of building replacement)
      8. Post-upgrade functionality (e.g., after the seismic upgrade, is the building fit for purpose?)
      9. Feasibility of incremental seismic performance upgrades (e.g., undertaking projects that address the most serious seismic performance issues in a building and deferring projects that further improve seismic performance)
      10. Mission criticality (e.g., the extent to which the building provides important functional capabilities that cannot be easily duplicated elsewhere)
      11. Building population and use (e.g., as a short-term strategy, can building population be managed to reduce seismic risk?)
      12. Financial resources (e.g., debt capacity, state funding, loss/gain of revenue)
      13. Business resumption after an event (the need to have that building functional immediately following a seismic event)
      14. Special features (e.g., does the building have historical or political significance?)
      15. Adjacencies (e.g., the extent to which the building poses a risk to adjacent buildings, property or facilities, including those not owned by UC, or places users of adjacent facilities at risk)
      16. Ownership or control of facility (e.g., does UC have the ability to make the changes required?)

A campus may utilize various strategies to manage the seismic performance of its buildings, including requiring capital investment or other options that improve building seismic performance (e.g., through seismic upgrade projects), reduce exposure to seismically risky structures (e.g., reductions in building population or building closures), additional investigation and analysis of expected seismic performance, or solutions that involve the use of third party investments and/or facilities.

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5. Finances

5.1 Capital Financial Plan

All seismic projects should be incorporated into campuses’ Capital Financial Plans (CFPs). UCOP Capital Asset Strategies and Finance will coordinate with the campuses to develop a methodology for placeholder budgets where necessary until seismic project cost estimates that are more refined can be prepared and included in CFPs. The development of an overall budget for implementation of the seismic safety program is essential to the successful pursuit of strategic systemwide financing options.

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6. Program Management

6.1 UCOP Seismic Safety Program

For general policy and program questions please contact UCOP Capital Programs at ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu.

For additional program information, including Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the UCOP Seismic Safety Program webpage.

Campus representatives seeking technical advice and guidance should contact the Seismic Advisory Board member assigned to the campus.

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6.2 UC Seismic Advisory Board

The University formed a Seismic Advisory Board (SAB) to receive professional opinion and advice on technical issues pertaining to the UC Seismic Safety Policy and University practices.  The SAB provides advice to the University on seismic issues, seismic design, and methods for evaluation of seismic and related hazards that impact structural performance of University buildings.

SAB members are available to the campus for general guidance, consultation and high-level reviews of previous and new seismic evaluations and studies.  Although not included in their duties as SAB members, SAB members and their firms may be selected by the campuses for individual structural peer reviews, detailed evaluations, and structural engineering services, or campuses may select other engineering firms. All firms must be procured in accordance with standard campus professional service procurement processes.

Campuses are encouraged to organize regular status update calls with their designated SAB member advisor to discuss the evaluation progress and any topics or concerns that the SAB member should bring to the entire SAB and UCOP for discussion, review and dissemination of consistent guidance and collective knowledge.

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6.3 Campus Seismic Program Leadership

Campus leadership is responsible for implementation of the seismic program requirements, with the Chancellor maintaining overall responsibility for compliance with the Policy. Campus seismic leadership must coordinate with the various campus departments (e.g., capital programs, planning, development, design and construction, real estate, facilities, operations, etc.) to ensure seismic Policy and Facilities Manual provisions are integrated into departmental policies, procedures and decision-making processes.

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6.3.1 Campus-Specific Seismic Review Committees

Campuses are encouraged to consider establishing a Seismic Review Committee, consisting of external expert seismic consultants, for their specific seismic programs. However, campuses are not required to form such committees and may utilize their assigned UC SAB member for guidance as described above.

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6.3.2 Campus Site-Specific Hazard Studies

Campuses are encouraged to have site-specific hazard assessments performed to characterize geologic conditions across their campus and to develop location-specific ground motions.

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6.4 Post-Earthquake Emergency Response

Each campus or University location must maintain an emergency response plan for use in the event of a damaging earthquake. The plan must consider structural condition; hazardous materials; fire and life safety of all facilities; health and safety issues applicable to each facility; coordination/communication with emergency operations centers; procedures for inspection; and a list for post-earthquake inspection of campus facilities, in the order of importance to the location, including all essential services facilities, critical utilities, and high risk or high occupancy facilities. Campus units that may be involved in the emergency response include, but are not limited to, facilities planning, design, and construction; plant operations; environmental health and safety; fire marshal; public safety; campus health services; and housing. When structural inspections are required, the Designated Campus Building Official must verify that various persons or firms performing those structural inspections must have the appropriate qualifications required for such work. In the event of a serious earthquake, licensed staff members may be utilized, if needed, to accelerate emergency response.

A summary of emergency management resources available through UC campuses and locations, and California and Federal government agencies is provided as an Attachment.

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7. Compliance Procedures

7.1 General

7.1.1 Seismic Peer Review

Peer review must be performed by an Independent Seismic Peer Reviewer (as defined in the Policy). The Independent Seismic Peer Reviewer must be contracted for and paid directly by the campus. The Designated Campus Building Official must select the Independent Seismic Peer Reviewer and plan for the peer review.

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7.1.1.1 Applicability

Peer review must be conducted for all new construction and for all renovations of University Facilities that require modifications or additions to any structural portion of the seismic lateral or gravity load-bearing structure or which affect life or safety of the occupants.

Peer review is optional if the structure is not located within a Seismic Hazard Zone, the structure does not have a natural gas connection, and any one of the following apply in the discretion of the Responsible Official for:

      1. one and two-story wood-framed or cold-formed steel buildings of less than 3,000 square feet, as long as the space is not to house pre-school age children;
      2. a one-story, wood-framed or cold-formed steel buildings, or a one or two-story, wood-framed single-family residence on a level site;
      3. a re-locatable structure, such as a trailer;
      4. University Facilities not intended for human occupancy;
      5. tenant improvement projects that the DCBO determines do not involve structural work requiring design by a CSE and do not alter lateral structural systems; or
      6. repairs and maintenance projects, and in-kind mechanical replacements.

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7.1.1.2 Requirements

Seismic Peer Review must use current structural engineering techniques and data appropriate for the structure type, use, and age. Ground motions at the site and other geologic hazards considered must be determined in accordance with any of the methodologies in the California Building Code (CBC) and California Existing Building Code (CEBC) (including site-specific studies, time-history studies, etc.). At a minimum, Seismic Peer Review must include:

      1. review of available plans, specifications, and calculations;
      2. a report on the adequacy of the resistance of such facilities to seismic forces based on conformance to the current seismic provisions of the CBC and CEBC for new or existing buildings;
      3. the CSE’s professional evaluation of such facilities anticipated seismic performance, expressed in terms of Seismic Performance Ratings I through Vll (as defined in Table 1) with respect to degree of risk to life and safety of persons;
      4. a written technical discussion of the basis for such facilities’ Seismic Performance Rating; and
      5. identification of potential falling hazards that pose a significant life or safety hazard to occupants.

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7.1.2 UC-Owned or Leased Facilities Outside of California

Most facilities UC uses are located in California. The Seismic Safety Policy applies to all of those buildings. Occasionally UC will lease or acquire facilities outside of California. Prior to entering into a contract to acquire or lease any property outside of California campuses must provide UCOP the location of such proposed acquisition or leased facility and a certification that the applicable process from below was completed.

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7.1.2.1 Outside of the United States or in Alaska or Hawaii

The campus-assigned SAB member and UCOP must be consulted prior to entering into any lease or acquiring any facility.

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7.1.2.2 Outside of California but in one of the other 47 contiguous US states

Refer to the map provided by the USGS attached as Figure 1. If the prospective facility is in or near any area shaded yellow, orange or red, the campus-assigned SAB member and UCOP must be consulted prior to entering into any lease or acquiring any facility. If the prospective facility is not in or near any area shaded yellow, orange, or red, the campus may proceed with such lease or acquisition without consulting the campus-assigned SAB member or UCOP with respect to seismic issues but must ensure such facility is in compliance with local codes and regulations and must comply with all other requirements regarding leases and acquisitions of University facilities.

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7.2 Retrofit

Seismic Retrofit Standards are provided in Section E of the Seismic Safety Policy.

It is permissible to determine acceptable retrofit design criteria in consultation with the UC SAB or Independent Seismic Peer Reviewer (as defined in the Policy).

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7.2.1 California Existing Building Code (CEBC) Provisions

CEBC Sections 317 through 322 establish minimum standards for earthquake evaluation and design for retrofit of existing buildings owned by the University of California.

CEBC Section 317.3 provides the applicability of requirements for earthquake evaluation and design for retrofit of existing buildings. The requirements of CEBC Section 317 apply when the UC-owned structure is to be retrofitted, repaired or modified and any of the following apply:

      1. Total construction cost, not including cost of furnishings, fixtures and equipment, or normal maintenance, for the building exceeds 25 percent of the construction cost for the replacement of the existing building. The changes are cumulative for past modifications to the building that occurred after adoption of the 1995 California Building Code and did not require seismic retrofit.
      2. There are changes in risk category.
      3. The modification to the structural components increases the seismic forces in or strength requirements of any structural component of the existing structure by more than 10 percent cumulative since the original construction, unless the component has the capacity to resist the increased forces determined in accordance with Section 319. If the building’s seismic base shear capacity has been increased since the original construction, the percent change in base shear may be calculated relative to the increased value.
      4. Structural elements need repair where the damage has reduced the lateral-load-resisting capacity of the structural system by more than 10 percent.
      5. Changes in live or dead load increase story shear by more than 10 percent.

All retrofit projects must comply with the CEBC. Each campus must maintain documentation to support compliance with CEBC provisions, including requirements for earthquake evaluation and design for retrofit of existing buildings. In order to comply with the Policy, any work requiring approval by UCOP or the Regents requires the campus to provide documentation that addresses the applicability of the work to CEBC Section 317.3 as a part of the request for approval. All work approved at the campus level must also comply with CEBC requirements.

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7.4 Seismic Safety Policy Waivers

The Policy Responsible Officer may waive policy requirements on a building by building basis upon request of a Responsible Official.

Responsible Officials may initiate review of a policy waiver request by returning a completed Seismic Safety Policy Waiver Request Form (included below as an Attachment) to UCOP Capital Programs (ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu).

Policy waiver requests must be presented with reasonable justification for such inquiry, and, at a minimum, include a description of the building's rating, Policy requirements requested to be waiver, requested waiver duration, University-related occupancy, alternatives considered, and a commitment to compliance by the end of the waiver period (i.e., scope, schedule, funding and other planning documentation).

Please contact UCOP Capital Programs (ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu) with any questions.

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8. References

University of California Policy (March 19, 2021), Seismic Safety Policy

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9. Abbreviations

ASCE – American Society of Civil Engineers

CAAN – Capital Asset Account Number

CBC – California Building Code

CEBC – California Existing Building Code

CCCI – California Construction Cost Index

CFO – Chief Financial Officer

CFP – Capital Financial Plan

CSE – Consulting Structural Engineer

DANR – Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources

DCBO - Designated Campus Building Official

EVP – Executive Vice President

FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency

IBC – International Building Code

ID – Identification

LBNL – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

OGSF – Outside Gross Square Footage

SAB – Seismic Advisory Board

sf – square feet

SPR – Seismic Performance Rating

UBC – Uniform Building Code

USGS – United States Geological Survey

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10. Exhibits & Attachments

 

For additional instructions for Policy compliance, including the completion of building evaluations and ratings, please contact ucseismicprogram@ucop.edu.

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