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RE: URM Building with Additional work[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: "'seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org'" <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
- Subject: RE: URM Building with Additional work
- From: "Dennis S. Wish PE" <wish(--nospam--at)cyberg8t.com>
- Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 22:06:29 -0800
Your question raises an issue more of Psychological safety verses increase strength. In my opinion, no mater what you do to this building short of removing the URM walls and replacing them with reinforced materials will not make the building anthing other than a hazardous structure. The purpose of Division 88 (RGA ) is for Hazard Reduction - not elimination. Without changing the structural system of this building, you would find it difficult to design a secondary system that would prevent the failure of brick. If you shotcrete the exterior, you may loose the inner wythe to the interior in a bad enough shake. The big issue is ecconomic. Most of these multi-story URM structures were used for low income apartments and transient hotels. The more money you place into retrofit, the less money the investor will get on his return. At some point the rents or market value will be exceed comparable values for the area. Finally, the work done in Los Angeles has been shown to do what it was designed for - save lives. The code never guaranteed the building would be salvagable, but was intended to maintain the structural integrety of the building long enough for the occupants to get safely out. After that, the building may be repaired or torn down. Remember, the cost of retrofit at $10.00 to $20.00 per square foot is much cheaper than new construction and maintains affordable housing without displacing thousands of people would could not afford comparable housing. I would try to explain this to my client so that they understand that "A hazardous building, but any other name is still a hazardous building". Dennis S. Wish PE
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