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Re: Lateral decision

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"...we always insist that a building be brought up to code in its entirety."

I'm frequently faced with an owner who wants to know how his existing building
stands vis-a-vis earthquake safety (no major upgrading or change of use
involved, just prudent concern about eq.).  If the problem is a lack of anchor
bolts and shear strength in the crawl space cripple walls do I tell him "all
or nothing?"  That would obviously not be cost-effective and possibly preclude
the vitally important crawl space improvements.  

It seems to me that improving the lower story but not the upper story (of the
church mentioned previously) would be preferable to doing nothing in most
situations, especially if the owner can't do it all right away.  Obviously the
owner should be advised of the possible effects of a one-story improvement v.
full improvement.  The San Francisco building code (and perhaps others) has
requirements for required ratio of story strengths in a partial upgrading that
would seem to provide guidance in this situation.  

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA