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(LA Times)   Upwards of 1,500 buildings in LA may be at risk of collapsing in a major quake, but we can't tell you which one because lawyers   (latimes.com) divider line 71
    More: Asinine, Richter magnitude scale, Ventura Boulevard, structural engineers, construction materials, w hotel, structural failure, medical practices  
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4148 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Oct 2013 at 4:12 PM (25 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-20 04:17:36 PM
Rich people know what's best for us to know.
 
2013-10-20 04:22:27 PM
I'm just going to assume anything that wasn't built in the last 10 years.
 
2013-10-20 04:23:27 PM
A prudent move in a climate where people sue your pants off if you so much as sneeze the wrong way.
 
2013-10-20 04:25:45 PM
Shakey Town?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-10-20 04:26:05 PM
Property owners have been the biggest opponent of retrofitting rules. Even posting warning signs "scared the heck out of" them, Smith said in an interview.

Property owners could agree to treat Proposition Quakesmash like Proposition 65: label everything dangerous so the warning exists but doesn't scare anybody.
 
2013-10-20 04:28:00 PM
No subby, not "because lawyers". The structural engineers involved in this project constructed an inventory of buildings that are highly likely to have a particular vulnerability known as nonductile concrete. This concrete tends to shatter under stress and fail if not properly reinforced with (more ductile) steel.

This inventory was done based on knowledge of construction techniques used at certain times in the past and other statistical factors that contribute to the likelihood of a particular building having this flaw. No one knows whether any *particular* building actually has this problem until you start going out and ripping apart concrete columns to see how they were put together.

The real challenge of this particular project is not the structural analysis- these buildings can be analyzed and have been shown to fail under earthquake loading conditions. The challenge is how then does the structural engineering community go to lawmakers and the public in a way that helps them effect change? The owners of these buildings are extremely reluctant to do these kinds of investigations themselves, because they're potential multi-million dollar liabilities that they'd just rather not know about. This is a huge public safety risk, but nothing will get changed without public outcry and legislative action. That's the whole point of the study in TFA.

I actually saw this guy talk a few months back. They did an excellent job all around. You can see their powerpoint (plus nonductile concrete failure goodness video) at the following link.

http://nees.org/site/images/QuakeSummit2013/BreakfastPlenary.zip
 
2013-10-20 04:28:59 PM

gingerjet: I'm just going to assume anything that wasn't built in the last 10 years.




Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers for more than 40 years but have failed to force owners to make their properties safer. The city has even rejected calls to make a list of concrete buildings.


40 years.
 
2013-10-20 04:31:08 PM
Some day there is going to be the mother of all quakes in L.A. in modern times and the ending will not be pretty. When I think of all the nice looking pussy that will be buried a live, I weep....
 
2013-10-20 04:31:53 PM
StoPPeRmobile [TotalFark]


Rich people know what's best for us to know.

LA the liberal utopia of California knows what's best for us.


Big government. Solving the world's problems by denying them since...forever.
 
2013-10-20 04:32:20 PM
In the absence of city action, university scientists compiled the first comprehensive inventory of potentially dangerous concrete buildings in Los Angeles.

The scientists, however, have declined to make the information public. They said they are willing to share it with L.A. officials, but only if the city requests a copy. The city has not done so, the scientists said.


So then release it publicly, dicks.
 
2013-10-20 04:33:40 PM
See, the system works.
 
2013-10-20 04:34:32 PM
Isn't every single building in LA at risk of collapsing in a major quake, some just more so than others.?
 
2013-10-20 04:35:38 PM
abovethelaw.com
 
2013-10-20 04:36:12 PM

gingerjet: I'm just going to assume anything that wasn't built in the last 10 years.


The codes that effect this particular vulnerability (I believe) were instituted in the 40's (maybe 60's). It's not terribly recent. The problem is, there are tons of buildings in that area that were constructed in the 20's and 30's.

The slides I linked above estimate that 80% of earthquake fatalities will occur in pre-code buildings, while the other 20% will occur in modern constructions. You're never truly safe in a large scale earthquake, but certain buildings have specific, known vulnerabilities.
 
2013-10-20 04:36:44 PM

HempHead: gingerjet: I'm just going to assume anything that wasn't built in the last 10 years.

Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers for more than 40 years but have failed to force owners to make their properties safer. The city has even rejected calls to make a list of concrete buildings.


40 years.




I'm DRTFA but your statement appears to assume existing properties and not new properties.
 
2013-10-20 04:36:59 PM

Fubini: No subby, not "because lawyers". The structural engineers involved in this project constructed an inventory of buildings that are highly likely to have a particular vulnerability known as nonductile concrete. extremely expensive structural surveys done by structural engineers in need of the work.


FTFY.
 
2013-10-20 04:39:48 PM

Fubini: No subby, not "because lawyers". The structural engineers involved in this project constructed an inventory of buildings that are highly likely to have a particular vulnerability known as nonductile concrete. This concrete tends to shatter under stress and fail if not properly reinforced with (more ductile) steel.

This inventory was done based on knowledge of construction techniques used at certain times in the past and other statistical factors that contribute to the likelihood of a particular building having this flaw. No one knows whether any *particular* building actually has this problem until you start going out and ripping apart concrete columns to see how they were put together.

The real challenge of this particular project is not the structural analysis- these buildings can be analyzed and have been shown to fail under earthquake loading conditions. The challenge is how then does the structural engineering community go to lawmakers and the public in a way that helps them effect change? The owners of these buildings are extremely reluctant to do these kinds of investigations themselves, because they're potential multi-million dollar liabilities that they'd just rather not know about. This is a huge public safety risk, but nothing will get changed without public outcry and legislative action. That's the whole point of the study in TFA.

I actually saw this guy talk a few months back. They did an excellent job all around. You can see their powerpoint (plus nonductile concrete failure goodness video) at the following link.

http://nees.org/site/images/QuakeSummit2013/BreakfastPlenary.zip


t/y for this - i learned something loafing around on a rainy sunday
 
2013-10-20 04:40:06 PM
This should go well once the earthquake hits and the list is released and they get sued for not telling anyone.

Lawyers everywhere.
 
2013-10-20 04:40:29 PM

OnlyM3: StoPPeRmobile [TotalFark]


Rich people know what's best for us to know.
LA the liberal utopia of California knows what's best for us.


Big government. Solving the world's problems by denying them since...forever.


Oh, look! Someone that doesn't need ta learn them big fancy words.  All he needs in his vocabulary are the letters "U", "S" and "A".
 
2013-10-20 04:41:17 PM

StoPPeRmobile: Rich people know what's best for us to know.


Subby's original headline was "Lawyers fark up everything, as usual." but it was taken, like a bajillion times.
 
2013-10-20 04:41:23 PM
Well, is a house a "building"?  A shed?  A treehouse?  That's not too many buildings if those are included.
 
2013-10-20 04:42:44 PM

Aquapope: Isn't every single building in LA at risk of collapsing in a major quake, some just more so than others.?


Yeah, this.

We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

/seriously, who thought skyscrapers in earthquake country is a good idea? Or a subway system?????
//and it's been almost 20 years since Northridge. . .
 
2013-10-20 04:43:40 PM
lawyers, huh? Theres always a solition to that

i.telegraph.co.uk
 
2013-10-20 04:44:37 PM

mongbiohazard: So then release it publicly, dicks.


The goal isn't to create a panic and point fingers, the goal is to institute effective change.

They rated buildings on ten (I think just ten) potential risk categories, which have various meanings for occupancy and building usage. They explain exactly what they're looking for in TFA, and if anyone in particular is concerned they can go to their building management themselves and ask for proof that the structure is safe in an earthquake.

Effective retrofit requires prioritization based on building usage, type of building, age, construction, etc. The point is to get lawmakers to require retrofit for those buildings most likely to cause fatalities in an earthquake. They have to do this in a principled way or they're not going to make effective change.
 
2013-10-20 04:46:26 PM
Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.
 
2013-10-20 04:48:12 PM
We have a known hazard. The entire LA area is sitting on a series of fault lines. There have been hundreds of minor quakes and dozens of more serious ones. The question is not, "if there be a major earthquake", it is "when will there be a major earthquake"? Answer: Anytime between now and a century from now, based on historical records.

We also have data on earthquake severity. There are scores of buildings in the danger area with inadequate construction. Thousands of people live and work in those buildings. When a major earthquake strikes LA, hundreds to thousands of lives will be at risk. Tens of thousands of people will suffer serious injuries.

A rational society would take steps to mitigate the risks by upgrading or demolishing buildings with poor earthquake resistance. While this work is underway, that rational society would also warn those living and working in the buildings at risk of the dangers. We do no live in a rational society. We are seemingly incapable of learning from the mistakes of others. We have collectively chosen to impose economic disincentives to to repairing/upgrading/retrofitting at-risk structures. We have also chosen to actually punish those who would provide warnings of actual hazards in the form of lawsuits for spreading fear and panic (and- incidentally- driving up insurance rates). The only way things will change is if a major earthquake levels many of those buildings in LA, killing hundreds or thousands of people.

Instead of waiting until there are a bunch of fresh bodies to spur people to action, why not provide economic incentives to take action. Publish the report and provide copies to every insurance company in southern California. People who own those buildings will either have to upgrade or pay through the nose for liability insurance. Provide grants or tax incentives to have engineering surveys done on any building constructed before 1980 (to pick a year at random). Those with proof of adequate earthquake resistant construction would benefit from lower insurance rates.
 
2013-10-20 04:50:08 PM

OnlyM3: StoPPeRmobile [TotalFark]


Rich people know what's best for us to know.
LA the liberal utopia of California knows what's best for us.
Big government. Solving the world's problems by denying them since...forever.


You didn't RTFA did you...
 
2013-10-20 04:50:37 PM

Peki: Or a subway system?????


Reminds me of the scene in 2012 where the subway car flies across the crack in the earth and explodes in a fireball.
 
2013-10-20 04:52:03 PM

Fubini: mongbiohazard: So then release it publicly, dicks.

The goal isn't to create a panic and point fingers, the goal is to institute effective change.

They rated buildings on ten (I think just ten) potential risk categories, which have various meanings for occupancy and building usage. They explain exactly what they're looking for in TFA, and if anyone in particular is concerned they can go to their building management themselves and ask for proof that the structure is safe in an earthquake.

Effective retrofit requires prioritization based on building usage, type of building, age, construction, etc. The point is to get lawmakers to require retrofit for those buildings most likely to cause fatalities in an earthquake. They have to do this in a principled way or they're not going to make effective change.



I think if authorities have already known about this for 4 decades and still don't want to touch it with a 10-foot poll then that seems like a recipe for authorities to just keep on ignoring it. Might as well make the information public so that the public can understand the extent of the problem and pressure/elect lawmakers who will take action. That's actually how our system of governance works. Without the informed electorate then that's a green light for those who have the power to do something to just pass the buck every year until a disaster actually happens.
 
2013-10-20 04:52:07 PM

wildcardjack: Fubini: No subby, not "because lawyers". The structural engineers involved in this project constructed an inventory of buildings that are highly likely to have a particular vulnerability known as nonductile concrete. extremely expensive structural surveys done by structural engineers in need of the work.


The danger of these buildings is well established from experience around the globe where earthquakes have actually hit and people have gone out first hand and assessed the impacts. We *KNOW* that these structures pose a risk to human health and safety. In an earthquake prone region, these things are the equivalent of Ford Pintos. They know there are safety risks there, but no one has the political will to force building owners to pay the money to make the retrofits.

Most of these vulnerabilities can be identified by a structural engineer walking around public sidewalks with a checklist. The surveys aren't that onerous, it's the retrofit that is.

One of the reasons that the lawmakers need to get involved here is because there's a big political question that needs to be answered: how safe do these structures need to be? In the package I linked above, they run a big earthquake scenario and a small earthquake scenario. The big scenario sees something like an estimated 3500 dead, while the small scenario sees something like 350 dead. Protecting against these different scenarios requires a different amount of time and money- at what point does society decide that these buildings are safe enough and it's not worth spending the money to save another 1000 lives?

Also, it should be said that most of these buildings are *not* likely to survive an earthquake. Even with retrofits, the best situation that might be achievable is to simply maintain structural integrity long enough for people to evacuate as opposed to the building suffering total collapse while still occupied.
 
2013-10-20 04:52:17 PM

bim1154: Some day there is going to be the mother of all quakes in L.A. in modern times and the ending will not be pretty. When I think of all the nice looking pussy that will be buried a live, I weep....


So I did a GIS for 'buried pussy'.  The unfiltered results were very fappable.  After filtering.. this is what google serves up for 'buried pussy'

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-10-20 04:52:46 PM

doglover: [abovethelaw.com image 250x320]


Came to post his quote, left oh, so satisfied. Thank you thank you thank you.
 
2013-10-20 04:53:11 PM
If you are in an old concreat building in one of the most earthquake prone places on earth then we just put the deaths in the Darwin wins column and be done with it.
 
2013-10-20 04:54:19 PM

LemSkroob: lawyers, huh? Theres always a solition to that


upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-10-20 04:56:14 PM

LemSkroob: lawyers, huh? Theres always a solition to that


8-Methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide
 
2013-10-20 05:02:13 PM

mongbiohazard: I think if authorities have already known about this for 4 decades and still don't want to touch it with a 10-foot poll then that seems like a recipe for authorities to just keep on ignoring it.


The authorities have known that they have some buildings of this type, but so far their historical response has been of the head-in-sand variety. This survey is a smoking gun- it shows that there are specific buildings in specific earthquake-prone areas that are specific causes for concern.

But this is just one specific survey of one specific area- the goal isn't to just fix Los Angeles, the goal is to establish general requirements that do the job anywhere in any earthquake prone area. That's why there is a focus on legislative action- this isn't an isolated problem. It needs a general solution, not just a public shaming of these specific building owners.
 
2013-10-20 05:02:27 PM

Peki: Aquapope: Isn't every single building in LA at risk of collapsing in a major quake, some just more so than others.?

Yeah, this.

We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

/seriously, who thought skyscrapers in earthquake country is a good idea? Or a subway system?????
//and it's been almost 20 years since Northridge. . .


What I learned from Northridge was: avoid bricks, sand, and the 10. Also plate glass windows. And Ozomatli is awesome.
 
2013-10-20 05:07:30 PM
WE have a vicious Jack Russel next door who is always jumping at us, trying to bite us at the top of the fence. We sprinkled a litlle cayenne over the fence, keeps the bastard at bay. At our old house in Texas, they put a neighborhood mailbox in. Tired of the mutts pooping around there, put cayenne in my yard around the mailbox. The yappers avoided it like the plague.
Hence the aforementioned "8-Methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide " reference.
 
2013-10-20 05:11:53 PM
Peki: We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

I'm confused, are you arguing that because no earthquake large enough to knock over a particular overpass has occurred, that that is evidence that it will not survive a stronger earthquake?

/seriously, who thought skyscrapers in earthquake country is a good idea? Or a subway system?????
//and it's been almost 20 years since Northridge. . .

Many construction and reinforcement techniques are based on experience in places that have experienced intense earthquakes, particularly Japan. You know, a place very fond of underground transportation and skyrises, and also subject to many earthquakes.
 
2013-10-20 05:14:48 PM
About twenty or so years ago, BBC came out with a documentary that noted that virtually all essential emergency services in California were, wait for it, on top of major fault lines.  In other words, the people you would expect to be responding to a major quake would probably be the hardest hit.  A few have probably moved since then, but most are probably still in the same place.

Fark California.  Fark them with a spiked dildo.
 
2013-10-20 05:20:09 PM

Enigmamf: Peki: We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

I'm confused, are you arguing that because no earthquake large enough to knock over a particular overpass has occurred, that that is evidence that it will not survive a stronger earthquake?

/seriously, who thought skyscrapers in earthquake country is a good idea? Or a subway system?????
//and it's been almost 20 years since Northridge. . .

Many construction and reinforcement techniques are based on experience in places that have experienced intense earthquakes, particularly Japan. You know, a place very fond of underground transportation and skyrises, and also subject to many earthquakes.


And if we had requirements that companies plan for 150 years and the financing Japan does, I might feel more secure. As it is, we're talking about Americans, whose idea of maintenance is banging on it until the noise stops.

And my point was the engineers keep saying that they build things to withstand an earthquake exponentially stronger than the earthquakes that keep bringing it down. Doesn't really inspire confidence.
 
2013-10-20 05:29:52 PM

Peki: Enigmamf: Peki: We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

I'm confused, are you arguing that because no earthquake large enough to knock over a particular overpass has occurred, that that is evidence that it will not survive a stronger earthquake?

/seriously, who thought skyscrapers in earthquake country is a good idea? Or a subway system?????
//and it's been almost 20 years since Northridge. . .

Many construction and reinforcement techniques are based on experience in places that have experienced intense earthquakes, particularly Japan. You know, a place very fond of underground transportation and skyrises, and also subject to many earthquakes.

And if we had requirements that companies plan for 150 years and the financing Japan does, I might feel more secure. As it is, we're talking about Americans, whose idea of maintenance is banging on it until the noise stops.

And my point was the engineers keep saying that they build things to withstand an earthquake exponentially stronger than the earthquakes that keep bringing it down. Doesn't really inspire confidence.


relevant?

picayune.uclick.com
 
2013-10-20 05:39:08 PM

HotIgneous Intruder: This should go well once the earthquake hits and the list is released and they get sued for not telling anyone.

Lawyers everywhere.


As it should be.  If your actions lead to a loss of life then you should be sued.
 
2013-10-20 05:42:29 PM
bbsimg.ngfiles.com

They've been talking about this since the Whittier Narrows quake, and then after the Northridge. back in the mid 90's, KECT (now defunct PBS station) did a documentary on buildings surviving earthquakes. Fantastic rare footage even of alluvial soil getting hit with just the right frequency waves and turning to liquid-type properties during a quake. Anyhow, They talked about the reinforcement of older structures with tension cables, and then spoke about the high rises Downtown. They said that while the buildings had survived and the roller foundations had done what they were supposed to, the buildings were now at serious risk of partially collapsing during another large quake. The reason was due to welds in the tensioning cables and support girders in the main structures. Some you could get to, others not so much. No property owners ever want to deal with the repairs, because it would mean admitting there is a problem and opening themselves up to liability for tenants and damaging the values of the asset portfolios.
 
2013-10-20 05:50:10 PM

Brakefornobody: Fark California.  Fark them with a spiked dildo.

Dude, take a chill pill
Your seriously harshing our, like you know, collective mellow.
We are all just kind of hanging out, smoking a little medicinal grade weed  and listening to a some Dead and we sure as hell don't need your  meth head ravings
Thanks,
all of us SoCal stoners sittin in the sun.

Being mellow

 
2013-10-20 06:02:32 PM

Enigmamf: Peki: We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

I'm confused, are you arguing that because no earthquake large enough to knock over a particular overpass has occurred, that that is evidence that it will not survive a stronger earthquake?


I'm going to take a guess that Peki is referring to the Newhall Pass, where the 5/14 freeway interchange structure has already collapsed twice (Sylmar, 1971 and Northridge, 1994).
 
2013-10-20 06:09:25 PM

ImpendingCynic: Enigmamf: Peki: We keep getting told the 5 overpass up by us will withstand an 8.0. Hasn't withstood anything stronger than a 6 yet.

I'm confused, are you arguing that because no earthquake large enough to knock over a particular overpass has occurred, that that is evidence that it will not survive a stronger earthquake?

I'm going to take a guess that Peki is referring to the Newhall Pass, where the 5/14 freeway interchange structure has already collapsed twice (Sylmar, 1971 and Northridge, 1994).


Yeah, didn't know the technical term for that...well, it's not as bad as the Orange Crush, but it's still ugly.

And uglier when both freeways are levelled and all traffic is reduced to a single lane each way (remembers it taking 4 hours to get between San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys). And I was 11, which is why I don't know the names really well.

And the comic was perfect.
 
2013-10-20 06:22:29 PM

Fluid: A prudent move in a climate where people sue your pants off if you so much as sneeze the wrong way.


That's why we can't have nice pants.
 
2013-10-20 06:22:33 PM
Sleep well, City of the Angels.
 
2013-10-20 06:57:15 PM

Claude Ballse: back in the mid 90's, KECT (now defunct PBS station) did a documentary on buildings surviving earthquakes.


KCET isn't defunct ... yet. It's just not a part of the Public Broadcasting Service any more. It divorced itself from PBS in 2010, claiming that they were bringing in way more revenue to the PBS coffers than they were receiving in programming and assistance from PBS. So, KCET decided to go its own way, and I'm sure they've been regretting it ever since. Their donations have plummeted, and they're a shadow of the station they once were.

Their quality original programming now almost non-existent, these days KCET seems to broadcast nothing but old BBC reruns at night and infomercials during the day. Unless something changes, KCET's days are numbered.
 
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