Seismic Safety: Progress All Over Campus

Photo of Walker Hall renovations.
Walker Hall renovation includes seismic retrofitting and expansion. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

To the Campus Community,

You may have heard by now about the work being undertaken by the UC system, including UC Davis, to evaluate all buildings on the campuses and complete all retrofitting to meet current seismic safety standards by 2030.

UC Davis has a long history of working to ensure the safety of our buildings, with a seismic safety program in place since 1975. We have completed seismic retrofit work in the last 25 years on a list of buildings that includes the Academic Surge, and Bainer, Briggs, Hart, Kerr, Olson, Rock and Sproul halls; North and South halls; Vet Med 2; Memorial Union and Silo South; The Barn (John Muir Institute of the Environment) and Heitman Staff Learning Center; and Segundo and Tercero residence halls and dining commons.

UC Davis has 1,145 buildings with more than 13 million square feet, excluding UC Davis Health and leased buildings. Of these buildings, 126 have been recently demolished or scheduled for demolition over the next 10 years.

So far, we have completed seismic evaluations of 317 buildings (representing 6.2 million square feet), including our largest buildings. Of those evaluated, 199 meet current standards, including all university-owned student housing; eight are currently undergoing seismic retrofit projects; and 115 require further evaluation or possible retrofits. Three abandoned barns on west campus have been vacated and are scheduled for demolition.

We have 694 buildings left to evaluate, and most of these buildings are one-story structures of 10,000 square feet or less. We plan to have all of these buildings evaluated by July 2020.

You can see the fruits of our ongoing seismic safety work in every corner of our campus. The retrofit projects currently underway include: Chemistry and Chem Annex, Physical Sciences and Engineering Library, Walker and Cruess (west side) halls; Nelson Hall (the old University Club); Silo; and Cuarto residence halls. UC Davis has invested more than $250 million in these eight projects to date.

In addition, UC Davis Health has budgeted approximately $2 billion over the next 10 years for facilities on the Sacramento campus to comply with its 2020 and 2030 seismic safety mandates. The latest seismic information indicates that two buildings on the Sacramento campus, which met applicable building codes at the time of their construction — the Broadway Building and the Cypress Building — will require further work to meet the University of California’s updated building safety standards, which exceed state and local requirements.

We are committed to a robust program that will continue to identify ways in which we can provide an acceptable level of earthquake safety for students, employees and the public who occupy our university facilities.

Kelly Ratliff
Vice Chancellor
Finance, Operations and Administration

For information or updates, please see our Seismic Safety Program website.

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