Oregon Resiliency Report

​Building safety and functionality will be critical both during and after a magnitude 9.0 Cascadia subduction zone seismic event. Oregon’s buildings must be able to withstand the intense ground shaking without devastating loss of life, damage to infrastructure, or significant disruption to our communities and economy. Buildings in these critical sectors include those that are necessary for the immediate response to the event, such as emergency operations centers, hospitals, police and fire stations, and emergency shelters, and buildings that are necessary for the provision of basic services to communities as they begin to restore functions and return to normal life, such as schools, housing, certain retail stores, and banks.

Recommendation: Establish a State Resilience Office. Establish and fund a State Resilience Office(r) to provide leadership, resources, advocacy, and expertise in implementing a statewide resilience plan.

Status: Complete. HB 2270 (2015) appointed the State Resilience Officer in June 2016.

Recommendation: Prioritize essential facilities.  Hospitals should be upgraded within 15 years of completing an inventory and seismic evaluation. Emergency Operation Centers, fire and police stations should be upgraded within 20 years if the building is an unreinforced masonry (URM) or non-ductile concrete structure, or 30 years if it is of other construction. Non-structural elements in these buildings should also be upgraded within the same timeframes, and ORS 455.400 should be strengthened and updated for consistency with these recommendations. Create publicly accessible database that shows annual seismic performance data for essential facilities.

Status: In progress. The state hospital is completed and all other hospitals are in the private sector and there is ongoing work. The Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program is one of the critical components. SB 80 (2015) updated ORS 455.400, Section 107. The Department of Geology and Mineral Industries will release a new coastal hospital report in Jan. 2018 with additional recommendations.

Recom​mendation: Fully fund the seismic retrofit of K-12 schools; prioritize the replacement of structure types that present the greatest hazard to their occupants in a seismic event; promote ASCE- 31 (or equivalent) engineering assessment of existing school facilities; and update the state's database of public school facilities on a regular basis.

Status: In progress. In the 2015-17 biennium, $205 million was authorized. SB 5505 (2017) $121 million was authorized.

Recom​mendation: Expand the Passive Trigger Seismic Strengthening Program. Encourage local jurisdictions to adopt the triggers for seismic upgrade to include changes in the level of occupancy risk, major building renovations, and re-roof of Unreinforced Masonry (URM) and non-ductile concrete buildings. Give seismic upgrades the highest priority for non-conforming upgrades, and allow them to be phased over ten years if needed.

Status: In progress. Portland's inventory of URM buildings is complete. Portland is investigating an ordinance for seismic upgrades to URM buildings that will need to be approved by the City Council. SB 311 (2017) authorizes cities and counties to adopt an ordinance or resolution providing property tax exemption to commercial, industrial and multi-family buildings built before Jan. 1, 1993, if they are seismically retrofitted, for a period not to exceed 15 years. SB 85 (2015) allows cities and counties to create loans or loan guarantee programs for seismic upgrades of private buildings.

Recom​mendation: Introduce an Earthquake Performance Rating System. Encourage and promote a voluntary, standardized rating system for the expected earthquake performance of buildings, similar to the LEED rating used for green buildings. The system should be easily understood and readily available to anyone with an interest or stake in the building.

Status: In progress. US Resiliency Council is the national organization that established a national seismic rating system. http://www.usrc.org.

Recom​mendation: Incorporate resilience into performance-based design. Adopt incentives to encourage owners to build to performance standards that exceed the “code minimum." Support research aimed at better tools and criteria for performance-based design.

Status: In progress. The DAS Resilience Buildings are an example and the American Institute of Architects Oregon (AIAO) is actively supporting this recommendation.

Recom​mendation: Encourage seismic retrofit of existing homes and multi-family buildings. Adopt seismic retrofit programs and incentives to encourage homeowners to tie their older homes to their foundations, and encourage the seismic retrofit of multi-family buildings.

Sta​tus: In progress. SB 850 (2017) established a working committee under the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC) to report no later than Sep 30, 2018 on residential earthquake insurance and incentive programs following the California Earthquake Authority model. Portland has initiated this program using FEMA funding.
Re​commendation: Complete an inventory of critical buildings. An inventory, compiled within five years, should include an initial seismic screening of each building and updates to the existing inventory. More detailed evaluations should be completed for those buildings identified by the initial screening to be the most susceptible to damage from an earthquake.

​Status: In progress. The Department of Administrative Services began its inventory of all state-owned buildings in 2016. The Oregon TITAN Fusion Center is working with the private sector to establish an inventory of all private critical infrastructure systems, including buildings that fall under the US Department of Homeland Security's Protective Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program.

For questions or comments, please contact the State Resilience Office​.

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​The new City Hall in Roseville, California received the U.S. Resiliency Council's Platinum rating. (Photo credit: U.S.R.C.)