The Concrete Coalition: A panel discussion on understanding the policy, inventory and technical problems associated with pre-1980 concrete buildings

December 30, 2009
Publication: Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures - Proceedings of the 2009 ATC & SEI Conference on Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures, p 1224-1234
Author(s): David McCormick Craig D. Comartin Marjorie Greene Thalia Anagnos Jack Moehle

This panel presentation examines some of the many complex issues associated with understanding the earthquake risk represented by older, nonductile concrete buildings. A volunteer-based initiative, the Concrete Coalition, has formed to address these issues, and is actively working with some cities in California, particularly Los Angeles, to better understand all the dimensions of the problem. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Grand Challenge Project aims to identify how many such buildings are in Los Angeles, to understand what makes these buildings most vulnerable, and to explore effectiveness and implementation of possible retrofit options. There is another component, based entirely on a volunteer effort of the engineering community in northern and southern California, to estimate how many such buildings exist in the high risk counties, primarily along the coast, in California. Once the size of the problem is understood more clearly, it becomes possible to identify and implement retrofit solutions.