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From The Daily Journal.  As a region extremely susceptible to seismic activity and in the midst of a years-long drought, local water officials were pleased to unveil a treatment plant renovation that will ensure nearly a million residents can continue drinking from the Crystal Springs Reservoir in the event of an earthquake.  The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission celebrated the completion of a $278 million upgrade of the Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant that included the construction of an 11-million-gallon treated water reservoir in the San Bruno hills Friday morning.  “You wouldn’t see that in Kansas,” said Dan Wade, director of the Water System Improvement Program, as he led a tour of the nearly 6-acre plant that delivers approximately 35 million to 45 million gallons of water per day to customers.  Through a complex maze of pipes, filters, tanks and pumps, the plant treats sources including runoff and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir water that’s stored locally at the Crystal Springs and Serra reservoirs.

From HuffPost San Francisco:  In 2013, the City of San Francisco launched the “Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit” program as part of a multi-year initiative to retrofit older, more disaster prone buildings in San Francisco.Buildings are split into four tiers based on the relative urgency associated with the retrofitting work (e.g. Tier 1 includes buildings with educational, assembly or residential care uses). With the looming deadline for Tier 1 buildings to submit their plans to the city, we decided to take a closer look to see how the market was responding.

From KQED News:  Two years into operation, the city’s seismic retrofit program is finding some success: Almost all of the targeted buildings’ owners have had them inspected. Only 18 scofflaws remain.  But even for most of the compliant owners, the hard part is yet to come: They will need to retrofit their “soft-story” wood-frame buildings.  These buildings, sometimes a century old, have first floors that are weak because they contain a garage, a business or large window gaps in the load-bearing walls. The upper floors are almost entirely apartments. The city hasn’t targeted one- and two-family buildings or those framed with materials other than wood.

From the San Francisco Public Press:  Two years into operation, the city’s seismic retrofit program is finding some success: Almost all of the targeted buildings’ owners have had them inspected. Only 18 scofflaws remain.  But even for most of the compliant owners the hard part is yet to come: They will need to retrofit their “soft-story,” wood-frame buildings.

From the City and County of San Francisco:  On the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Mayor Ed Lee signed into law the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Ordinance. This legislation requires the evaluation and retrofit for “multi-unit soft-story buildings,” defined as: Wood-frame structures, containing five or more residential units, having two or more stories over a “soft” or “weak” story, and permitted for construction prior to January 1, 1978.

From the City and County of San Francisco:  The Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit program was created in 2013 as a multi-year community-based effort by the Department of Building to ensure the safety and resilience of San Francisco through the retrofit of all older, wood-framed, multi-family buildings in San Francisco with a soft-story condition.  As part of the Soft Story Program, all affected property owners were noticed beginning in September 2013 and were required to have submitted their screening forms to the Department of Building Inspection by September 15, 2014. As of October 6, 2014 although we have achieved a 90% response to the program, there are approximately 500 properties who have yet to submit their screening forms.  Buildings that have not complied with this requirement will be placarded and issued notices of violation.

From the San Francisco Public Press:  Earthquake Retrofit Delays Leave Thousands at Risk.  It will take at least 7 years to secure older wood buildings dangerously perched above windows or garages. One in 14 San Franciscans lives in an old building with a first floor that city inspectors say could be vulnerable to collapse if not retrofitted soon to withstand a major earthquake.

From the San Francisco Apartment Association: A new local law mandates the retrofit of thousands of “soft-story” buildings, as well as allowing a 100% passthrough for the costs. On the 107th anniversary of San Francisco’s largest disaster, the 1906 earthquake, Mayor Ed Lee signed into law the Mandatory Soft-Story Retrofit Ordinance. This groundbreaking legislation moves the city forward toward its goal of becoming more resilient, allowing it to recover more quickly and easily when the next earthquake occurs. This ordinance amends the San Francisco Building Code, adding Chapter 34B, which requires the retrofit of all wood-frame buildings with two or more stories over a soft story. Additionally, these buildings must contain five or more residential dwelling units where the construction permit was applied for prior to January 1, 1978. According to the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) analysis, there are believed to be approximately 4,300 wood-frame buildings in San Francisco. The analysis also determined that over 2,800 of these buildings will require retrofit. The buildings are located all over San Francisco, including the Mission, Western Addition, the Richmond, North Beach and the Marina.

From The LA Times: Some of the most extensive damage and loss of life from recent earthquakes in California have occurred in apartment houses where dwellings sit on top of a ground-level parking garage or a storefront. The shaking undermines the bottom floor, causing the buildings to collapse and in some cases to pancake.  After years of study and debate, San Francisco on Thursday formally adopted a new law requiring owners to retrofit thousands of these so-called wood-frame soft-story buildings, marking the most sweeping seismic regulations in California in years.

From Retrofit Magazine: San Francisco Has Mandated Retrofits to Buildings Susceptible to Earthquakes, Taking a Proactive Path to Disaster Mitigation and Recovery. On the eastern seaboard, coastal residents know that between the months of June and November, the probability of a hurricane striking their area is relatively high and they will be given ample time to prepare or evacuate. Residents on the West Coast, however, never know when an earthquake will strike and must be on alert year-round. Nevertheless, people living in places, like San Francisco, shouldn’t be completely unsuspecting if an earthquake hits given their proximity to fault lines.  A little more than a year ago on the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Mayor Ed Lee signed into law the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Ordinance, which requires the evaluation and retrofit of “soft-story buildings” in the Bay Area. PHOTO: San Francisco Earthquake Safety Implementation Program.  In fact, seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va., predict a 63 percent probability that the Bay Area will experience a magnitude 6.7 earthquake or greater in the next 30 years. This statistic, when viewed in light of the after effects of the small but devastating Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989, has led the city of San Francisco down a preemptive path to disaster mitigation and recovery that is paving the way for other jurisdictions on the West Coast.

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