CSUF ensures its structures and buildings are earthquake ready

In Campus News, News
(Hannah Miller / Daily Titan)

Cal State Fullerton buildings and structures are more than ready to sustain an earthquake of great magnitude given their architectural enhancements.

The school’s Department of Facilities Management has remained up to date in its building oversight by consistently abiding to the Cal State University seismic requirements from the CSU Office of the Chancellor.

The requirements apply to all CSU campuses and serve the purpose of addressing all options to improve performance beyond the minimal required code conformance.

Director of Construction Management Sarabdayal Singh said that CSU buildings are built to sustain earthquakes because they are in seismic zone four, the highest zone by the state code.

“CSU has its own policy which goes beyond the minimum code,” Singh said. “All buildings are checked for compliance with the code beyond the seismic requirement.”

Singh said that due to the statewide CSU requirements, there are no CSUF buildings that are at great risk of taking severe damage from an earthquake. This also applies to McCarthy Hall, the oldest building on campus.

According requirements laid out by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, all CSU capital building projects, no matter how big, require overall building inspection by a certified peer reviewer. Each CSU campus has an assigned peer reviewer who oversees the completion of each schematic preliminary design for each project.

Singh said CSUF Facilities Management has taken steps to make sure that all campus structures are up to date with all seismic requirements and codes of safety.

Under these codes, Singh said design professionals are expected to notify the CSU construction manager and seismic peer reviewer if any construction changes or modifications are taken into consideration that may potentially impact structural performance.

Singh also said that CSUF’s building structures should be able to withstand the massive California earthquake known as the “big one.”

“Since we have reviewed the building conditions and everything in the report that we have, it should,” Singh said. “Seismic activities also depend on where the epicenter is and how close it is. But we are in good shape.”

Because CSUF is up to date on its structural requirements from the CSU Chancellor’s Office, the university will not be reinforcing any of its buildings anytime soon, Singh said, unless the CSU seismic requirements deem it necessary.

“All future projects in innovation and construction will go through the existing building structure (codes) one more time,” Singh said.

Geological science professor Sinan Akciz said earthquake readiness is key since California is due for the 7.8 magnitude “big one.”

“The magnitude 7.8 or 7.9 is nowhere similar to anything anybody has experienced in Southern California, so the magnitude part is a misconception. This is going to be much bigger and shaking will last a lot longer,” Akciz said. “Compared to five to 10 seconds of shaking, it’s probably going to be under three to four minutes depending on where you are. Maybe upwards of three minutes,” Akciz said.

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