Earthquake Ratings

I’m from the Midwest, so earthquakes aren’t part of my DNA. The several 4’s and 5’s I felt since moving to the Bay Area five years ago don’t bother me too much. (No, Fate, that’s not a challenge.) There are pretty interesting though, and I thought I’d share a memo at work that I would never have received if I was still working in Madison.

Question: Do the [[my company's campus]] buildings have Earthquake Ratings; and if so, what size of earthquake should they be able to withstand?.

Answer: According to the structural engineer who consulted on the construction of the [[campus]] complex, the buildings were built to comply with the Uniform Building Code 9097. They should not sustain any damage in an earthquake measuring up to 5.5 on the Richter scale and they should not collapse in any quake.

The amount of damage, if any, in an earthquake greater than 5.5 would obviously depend on the magnitude, epicenter, and characteristic of the quake. There are too many variables to produce a definitive damage projection for something larger than 5.5.