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With Host Professor Joseph Schofer of Northwestern University.

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X-beam reinforcement on the Webb Tower of USC-Los Angeles
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Seismic retrofits of concrete buildings – focus on California

Posted February 21, 2014, Length: 20:17

The State of California has been a world leader in earthquake safety building codes, starting with the California Seismic Code, passed in 1933 after the Long Beach earthquake. In spite of code changes and advances in design standards, retrofitting buildings to meet new codes continues to be a challenge. For example, following the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake, 1,777 California public school buildings still did not conform to the school seismic safety standards passed by the state legislature 38 years before. The main obstacle was the cost of the retrofits. Although the San Fernando Earthquake led to still more advanced design codes, The Los Angeles Times has reported that many concrete buildings in the city do not meet current seismic safety standards, putting their occupants at risk in the event of a major earthquake. Once again, the cost of retrofits was cited as the major problem. To explore the topic of seismic retrofits of concrete buildings, the hosts talk with Dr. Gregg Brandow, Professor of Engineering Practice at the University of Southern California, who is a leading expert on the seismic evaluation and retrofit of buildings.

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Descriptions of photos at top of page, from left to right:
Bayonne Bridge, from Bayonne, NJ to Staten Island, NY; the Tom Moreland Interchange in Atlanta, GA; Dworshak Dam, in Clearwater County, ID; a transmission substation in Orem, UT.
All photos courtesy of Wikipedia.