Assessment of Geotechnical Issues in Acute Care Facilities in California

M. Lew, T.D. O'Rourke, R. Dobry and M.M. Koch

MCEER-04-0009 | 09/15/2004 | 142 pages

Keywords: Geotechnical issues.  Acute care hospitals.  California.  Compliance.  Risks.  Collapse.  Liquefaction.  Structural design.

Abstract: This report summarizes findings from an evaluation of geotechnical reports submitted by hospital facilities in primarily San Francisco Bay and Southern California, as part of the compliance process of Senate Bill 1953 which established seismic requirements for all existing hospitals in the state of California.  The enactment of SB 1953 mandated every hospital in California to perform a compliance study for structural and nonstructural performance in earthquakes.  Part of this study was an evaluation of the geologic and geotechnical hazards that may affect hospital performance in a seismic event, and to identify hospitals that pose a serious danger or potential failure during such an event.  The findings of the hospital buildings reveal that almost 40 percent were determined to have significant risk for structural collapse and danger to public safety in the event of a strong earthquake; over 70 percent had basic nonstructural systems essential to life safety and patient care that were inadequately anchored to resist earthquake forces; and about 20 percent had a potential for liquefaction based on the SB1953 design ground motions.  Tables, illustrations, and a comprehensive Appendix, SPC Ratings by Building by county are included in this report.