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(a) Preparation of Reports. Building owners shall employ a civil or structural engineer to prepare the investigation and engineering report outlined below.
(b) Purpose. To investigate, in a thorough and unambiguous fashion, a building's structural systems that resist the forces imposed by earthquakes and to determine if any individual portion or combination of these systems is inadequate to prevent a structural failure (collapse or partial collapse).
(c) General. Each building shall be treated as an individual case without prejudice or comparison to similar type or age buildings which may have greater or lesser earthquake resistance. Generalities or stereotypes are to be avoided in the evaluation process by focusing on the specifics of the structural system of the building in question and the local geology of the land on which the building is constructed.
(d) Level of Investigation. Some buildings will require extensive testing and field investigation to uncover potential structural deficiencies, while others will allow the same level of overall evaluation by a less complicated process due to simplicity of design or the availability of original or subsequent alteration design and construction documents.
It is the responsibility of the engineer performing the evaluation to choose the appropriate level of investigation which will produce a report that is complete and can serve as a sound basis for a conclusion on the collapse hazard the building may present.
(e) Format for the Report. The following is a basic outline of the format each engineering report should follow. This outline is not to be construed to be a constraint on the professional preparing the report, but rather to provide a skeleton framework within which individual approaches to assembling the information required by the ordinance may be accomplished. It also will serve as a means for the city to evaluate the completeness of each report.
(1) General Information. A description of the building including: (i) the street address; (ii) the type of occupancy use within the building, with separate uses that generate different occupant loads indicated on a plan showing the square footage of each different use; (iii) plans and elevations showing the location, type and extent of lateral force resisting elements in the building (both horizontal and vertical elements); (iv) a description of the construction materials used in the structural elements and information regarding their present condition; (v) the date of original construction, if known and the date, if known, of any subsequent additions or substantial structural alterations of the building; and (vi) the name and address of the original designer and contractor, if known, and the name and address of the designer and contractor, if known, for any subsequent additions or substantial structural alterations.
(2) Investigation and Evaluation of Structural Systems. All items to be investigated and the methods of investigation for each type of building under consideration are contained in Appendices A and B, attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter, available from the city's building inspection division.
(3) Test Reports. All field and laboratory test results shall be included in the report. Evaluation of the significance of these test results shall be made with regard to each structural system or typical connection being evaluated. This evaluation may be limited to a statement of the adequacy or inadequacy of the system or connection based on the lateral load demand it would be required to resist by calculation. If tests reveal inadequacy, a conceptual solution must be included in the report.
(4) Conclusions. Based on the demand/capacity ratio and the specific evaluation items contained in Appendices A or B attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter, a statement shall be provided explaining the overall significance of the deficiencies found to exist in the building's lateral force-resisting system regarding potential collapse or partial collapse failure.
(5) Recommendations. An appropriate solution, which could be used to strengthen the structure to alleviate any collapse or partial collapse threat, shall be specified.
(f) Exceptions and Alternatives. Exceptions to the specific items required to be included in an engineering report may be granted by the chief building official upon review of a written request from the engineer preparing the report. Such a request shall provide evidence that adequate information concerning the required item(s) can be determined by alternate means or that a conclusion can be made about the item without following the solution called for in the appropriate appendix. The purpose of granting such exceptions shall be to reduce the costs or disruption that would result from taking required actions, when it can be shown that they are unnecessary to provide information available by other equivalent means. In no case will an exception be granted which would result in an item not being completely evaluated. The decision of the chief building official in granting exceptions is final.
(Ord. 3666 § 1 (part), 1986)