Earthquake Brace + Bolt Expands in 2015
Residential seismic retrofit program improves foundation safety for homes constructed before 1940
Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB), an earthquake retrofit program that provides a financial incentive for homes built before 1940, will be available in January 2015 in 26 California ZIP codes. EBB will offer homeowners up to $3,000 to retrofit, thereby reducing the potential for homes to slide or topple off of their foundations during an earthquake.
The seismic retrofit includes a process to add anchor bolts and bracing in the crawl space (“cripple wall”) to improve the connection between the wooden framing and concrete foundation. Contractors experienced in seismic retrofitting, specifically with California Existing Building Code (CEBC) Chapter A3, 2010 Edition, are sought after for this work.
EBB’s 2015 program will be offered in the following ZIP codes:
- Oakland: 94602, 94607, 94609, 94610, 94618
- San Francisco: 94112, 94121, 94127, 94132
- San Leandro: 94577, 94578, 94579
- Los Angeles: 90026, 90031, 90039, 90041, 90042, 90065
- Pasadena: 90026, 91101, 91103, 91104, 91105, 91106, 91107
- Santa Monica: 90401, 90404
The program is offered by the California Residential Mitigation Program, a joint powers agency of the California Earthquake Authority and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
Retrofitting your home before the next earthquake may be easier than you think. The state is providing assistance to those who qualify through the Brace and Bolt program.
Last August, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake rattled the Napa area of Northern California. The damage was most severe to older homes that shook right off their foundations.
If you own a home built before 1979, it can be at major risk in earthquake country – unless the house was bolted to the foundation. You may qualify for a solution to that problem.
Mark Reback of Highland Park was lucky enough that his 1913 Craftsman home was chosen for a pilot program through the California Earthquake Authority. The program helped pay for an earthquake bolt retrofit of his home’s foundation in the amount of $3,000.
“They fixed the concrete and the foundation and added some wood bracing and the bolt bracing,” Reback said. “Just basically the whole retrofitting of the base of the house.”
As of Jan. 1, the California Residential Mitigation Program is a standard program available to many homeowners. One way the California Earthquake Authority is getting the word out on their bolt program is through fliers they may leave on your door. If you get one hanging on your doorknob, don’t throw it away – it could be worth up to $3,000.
“We’re going out to six cities, 26 zip codes, letting them know that we have a selection process. We like them to go online to the website, see if their house qualifies, throw their name into the hat,” said Janiele Maffei with the California Earthquake Authority.
There are a few requirements to qualify. You must live in a certain zip code area, the home must have been built before 1979, the crawl space under the house must be less than 4 feet and the home needs to have a wooden sub-floor. Get more information by visiting www.earthquakebracebolt.com.
“Earthquakes are a part of life here, and we feel more secure knowing our home was more secure,” Reback said.
Special Moment Frame Resists Earthquake Forces
- – Pre-assembled: no field welding
- – AISC 358 Pre-qualified.
- – No lateral bracing at beam required
- – Code compliant
- – Custom designs available
Additional Lateral Bracing not Required
This connection and beam profile allows the frame assembly to fit within standard 2×6 framing, and the use of an HSS beam means that additional lateral bracing is not required.