Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC


  ( Division 12.5 added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1130. )

CHAPTER 3. Earthquake Hazard Mitigation Technologies [16100 - 16110]
  ( Chapter 3 added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1. )


As used in this chapter:

(a)  “Earthquake hazard mitigation technologies” includes, but is not limited to, seismic isolation, energy dissipation, ductility, damping systems, and other technologies which endeavor to reasonably protect buildings and nonstructural components, building contents, and functional capability from earthquake damage. Earthquake hazard mitigation technologies do not include those technologies with detailed code provisions in the 1988 edition of the model codes as defined in Section 18916.

(b)  “Life cycle cost” includes, but is not limited to, the present value of the cost of initial construction, earthquake insurance premiums, operating and maintenance costs, physical earthquake damage cost to the facility, and related earthquake disruption costs including, but not limited to, loss of production or loss of business anticipated over the projected useful life of the building.

(c)  “Peer review” is a review conducted by a multidisciplinary group of experienced technical professionals, including, but not limited to, architects and structural and geotechnical engineers who have recognized expertise in the design and performance of earthquake hazard mitigation technologies, who are independent of the subject of the review, and who are peers with the same professional registration as that of the design professionals responsible for the subject of the review.

(d)  “Public agency” means any state agency, any county, city and county, city, regional agency, public district, redevelopment agency, or any other political subdivision.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  The Seismic Safety Commission, in cooperation with the State Architect, shall develop a state policy on acceptable levels of earthquake risk for new and existing state-owned buildings and submit their policy to the Legislature for consideration by January 1, 1991.

(b)  The State Architect, in conjunction with state agency owners and operators of buildings, shall identify activities carried out within state-owned buildings which are necessary for postearthquake operation.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  The State Architect shall develop and adopt by January 1, 1992, regulations for the application of earthquake hazard mitigation technologies to buildings which do all of the following:

(1)  Prescribe design criteria and performance standards with the objective of reasonably ensuring the limitation of earthquake damage or the continuous operational capability of buildings with earthquake hazard mitigation technologies, or both.

(2)  Determine the procedure for estimating the life cycle costs of a building designed and constructed according to the provisions of this chapter.

(3)  Establish the criteria for determining the suitability of earthquake hazard mitigation technology as compared to conventional construction considering project-specific design requirements and life cycle costs.

(b)  The advisory board established pursuant to Section 16022 shall advise the State Architect in the development of regulations for this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  The State Architect shall seek the advice and cooperation of appropriate state agencies, structural and earthquake engineering professional organizations, the California Building Officials, the International Conference of Building Officials, and other professional organizations or associations to carry out the provisions of this section.

(b)  The State Architect shall encourage technical and professional societies to conduct forums and seminars to increase the understanding of design professionals and building officials about new earthquake hazard mitigation technologies.

(c)  The State Architect shall encourage state and federal governments, the University of California, other state agencies, the private educational institutions and the private sector to increase the availability of earthquake research funds and equipment, including, but not limited to, shake tables. The State Architect shall encourage the development of educational materials for earthquake hazard mitigation technologies.

(d)  The State Architect, in cooperation with structural engineering professional organizations, shall submit the regulations developed according to this chapter to the International Conference of Building Officials for consideration of adoption in future model codes, as defined in Section 18916, by August 1, 1993.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  The State Architect shall select suitable buildings and provide direction and supervision for the use of earthquake hazard mitigation technologies on three buildings owned by the Department of General Services, or other state-owned buildings proposed by another state agency, as demonstration projects. Buildings owned by the University of California, the California State University, the Department of Corrections, or other state agencies may be proposed as demonstration projects by the respective state agency but are subject to the approval of the State Architect for selection as a demonstration project and review by the State Architect according to provisions of this chapter.

(b)  One demonstration project shall be a new building and two projects shall be existing buildings.

(c)  It is in the best interest of the state that these demonstration projects should be fully instrumented and monitored by the Strong Motion Instrumentation Program (Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 2700) of Division 2 of the Public Resources Code) of the Division of Mines and Geology. The Strong Motion Instrumentation Program is encouraged to instrument these demonstration projects. The State Architect shall consult with the Strong Motion Instrumentation Program prior to the selection of demonstration projects.

It is the intent of the Legislature that the cost of instrumentation be funded by the appropriation that funds the construction of the building.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  The State Architect shall develop and publish informational material describing the anticipated earthquake performance of new and existing buildings afforded by current and earlier building codes, the threat of earthquakes, and earthquake hazard mitigation technologies. This information shall be made available to the federal government, public agencies, and the public to assist building owners, occupants, and managers to better understand the anticipated earthquake performance of buildings.

(b)  The State Architect shall provide information by various methods, including publications and seminars, to insurance companies, building owners, and the general public explaining the significant reductions in damage to buildings and contents which may be effected through the use of earthquake hazard mitigation technologies with the objective of encouraging the use of these technologies, reducing earthquake damage and disruption, and reducing insurance premiums for earthquake peril coverage.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  The University of California, the California State University, the Department of Corrections, and public agencies are encouraged to develop and implement policies and performance standards according to lowest reasonable life cycle costs in a similar manner to Section 16101.

(b)  No provision of this chapter shall apply to the Regents of the University of California unless the regents, by resolution, make the provision applicable.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


No provision of this chapter or the regulations adopted pursuant thereto, shall reduce, alter, or diminish the authority of the design professional who signs the plans and specifications for a project subject to this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


(a)  Private and public agency building owners and developers may, and are encouraged to, use the provisions of this chapter for new and existing buildings. Private and public agency building owners and developers are encouraged to consider the building standards enacted by local governments for building reconstruction pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 19160) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 13.

(b)  The State Architect, using the advisory committee defined in Section 16022 shall review the suitability of the candidate buildings for earthquake hazard mitigation technologies upon request from building owners or developers, public agencies, or design professionals and shall review the adequacy of the project-specific design and earthquake performance criteria and report its findings to the appropriate public agency prior to the approval of design concepts, preliminary design criteria, geotechnical reports, and ground response reports by the appropriate public agency.

(c)  The advisory committee established pursuant to Section 16022 shall be used by the State Architect to perform a peer review of the earthquake hazard mitigation technologies for a project at the State Architect’s discretion or at the request of a building owner, design professional, or responsible public agency. The State Architect may add to the advisory committee additional peers for a particular project from a list of recognized experts in the field of earthquake hazard mitigation technologies.

(d)  An appropriate fee for all reviews by the State Architect and advisory committee shall be established by the State Architect and paid for by building owners prior to reviews. The fees established pursuant to this subdivision shall not exceed the actual costs of performing the individual peer review.

(e)  No local agency may require any private or public agency, building owner or developer, or their design professionals, to comply with the provisions of this chapter as a condition of local agency review, permitting, or approval.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)


In the event that a project involving buildings utilizing earthquake mitigation technologies and other new seismic resistant design technologies requires design review and plan approval by more than one public agency, the Coordinating Council of the Building Standards Commission shall, to the maximum extent feasible, consolidate the various hearings which may be required in order to minimize the time required for the hearings. This consolidation shall be for procedural purposes only and shall not be construed as consolidating the statutory responsibilities of the public agencies conducting the consolidated hearings.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 193, Sec. 93. Effective January 1, 2005.)


The State Architect shall periodically inform the Seismic Safety Commission with respect to the implementation and administration of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 988, Sec. 1.)

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