Earthquake Building Standards

Still0825_00001EUGENE, Ore. — Bridges aren’t the only structures around town that could run into problems, local buildings might not be able to withstand a strong seismic event.

City of Eugene officials say there have been building codes in place for years to make sure buildings don’t collapse, if there is a quake; but, there could still be some major structural damage. The codes in place are to make sure people inside get out safely, not to protect the building from damage.

Older buildings in town, built before these codes, could experience severe damage.

“We don’t have a local program for seismic rehabilitation of buildings. Portland does. We don’t have anything adopted in Eugene, so older buildings that might be substandard by today’s measure get upgraded over time as significant structural alterations are done to them,” said Mark Whitmill, Eugene Assistant Building Official.

Whitmill says hospitals and high rises have different building standards than a normal house.

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