Hospitals Ask California Officials To Re-Assess Buildings’ Seismic Risks
Since November 2007, at least 96 hospitals in California have asked state regulators to use a computer program to re-assess their structures' seismic risk in an effort to postpone expensive building upgrades due in 2013, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development released the data on Tuesday.
State officials approved the use of HAZUS, a complex computer program that predicts damage caused by natural disasters, in November 2007.
Buildings found to be at lesser risk of damage from an earthquake using the new computer evaluation program would have until 2030 to undergo structural upgrades. However, some interior work still would have to be completed by 2013.
Earlier risk assessments identified about 1,100 hospital buildings that would have to be retrofitted or replaced by 2013 to meet state seismic safety standards for acute-care facilities built before 1973. HAZUS could cut in half the number of hospitals requiring more urgent upgrades, saving the hospital industry $4.6 billion, according to health care officials.
Hospitals have until July 1, 2009, to ask the state to reassess their facilities using HAZUS (Darcé, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3/12).