Los Angeles — The U.S. Resiliency Council (USRC) announced growing support from fair housing, sustainability, design professionals, trade, business and labor organizations for AB2681 by Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, a bill that will help cities identify seismically vulnerable structures in our communities.

Nazarian’s Bill, currently under consideration by the California Assembly, has gained the official support of the USRC, U.S. Green Building Council, State Buildings and Construction Trade Council of California, Fair Housing Council of Riverside County and others.

The legislation was inspired in part by USRC’s Seismic Resilience Initiative – a working group led by the United States Resiliency Council, that includes BizFed, practicing California building officials and Structural Engineers, and others, with participation from the California Seismic Safety Commission, California Office of Emergency Services, the California Department of Insurance and the International Code Council.

“On behalf of our member organizations and credentialed professionals in California, USGBC wishes to express its strong support for AB 2681,” Jennifer Gunby, manager of state and local advocacy for the U.S. Green Building Council, proclaimed in a letter of support.

“California contains thousands of buildings that are known to present a heightened earthquake risk of death, injury and damage based on their age, structural system, size and location,” wrote Rose Mays, executive director of the Fair Housing Council. “The chronic labor and housing shortages most California cities already suffer from would dramatically increase for years to come following a major seismic event. Protecting the state’s economy, affordable housing stock and social fabric from the long-lasting turmoil of (a major earthquake) is critical – and the failure to do so could impact Californians’ quality of life for decades.”

Nazarian’s bill will identify California’s seismic vulnerabilities and provide an assessment of the potential impacts the state faces – spotlighting communities where there is an urgency to address the matter. The legislation, if adopted, will:

  • Develop criteria to identify seismically vulnerable building types.
  • Direct building departments to develop an initial list of potentially vulnerable buildings.
  • Notify building owners that they may have potentially vulnerable buildings.
  • Direct noticed owners to verify the vulnerability of these structure.
  • Build and maintaining a statewide data repository of potentially vulnerable buildings.
  • Identify funding mechanisms to offset costs to building departments.

“I am honored and grateful for the growing support of AB2681,” said Evan Reis, executive director of the US Resiliency Council. “The thoughtful support of these many organizations validates the direct relationship between seismic resilience and sustainability of our built environment.”

Cesar Diaz, legislative director of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, said the bill will help to provide a snapshot of the risks California faces, which will in turn, help the state move forward to better protect its most vulnerable communities.

“It is essential that there is an accurate and reliable database of all potentially vulnerable buildings in California so that steps can be taken to seismically retrofit them,” Diaz said. “AB 2681 will initiate this process by requiring the Office of Emergency Services to work with cities and counties to amass and maintain this database.”

David Khorram, immediate past president of California Building Officials and superintendent of building safety for the city of Long Beach, said the support from these organizations demonstrates the broad impact that a major earthquake will have on Californians.

“Each of these supporters represents an important faction of our communities,” Khorram said. “From housing availability, to commerce, labor and trade organizations, these endorsements represent support from experts in the fields that would be most impacted by a major earthquake.”