Performance of HUD-Affiliated Properties During the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
Performance of HUD-Affiliated Properties During the
January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
Todd, D. R.; Anderson, E.; Carino, N. J.; Cheok, G. S.;
Chung, R. M.; Gross, J. L.; Phan, L. T.; Schultz, A. E.;
Shenton, H. W., III; Taylor, A. W.; Yancey, C. W. C.
NISTIR 5488; 66 p. August 1994.
Available from: National Technical Information Service
Order number: PB95-174488
earthquakes; building collapse; damage; methodology;
construction; disasters; residential buildings; building
performance; building technology; multi-family housing;
nonstructural performance; residential structural
performance; seismic design
The magnitude 6.8 January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake
was centered under the densely populated San Fernando
Valley northeast of Los Angeles, California. At the
request of the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD), the Building and Fire Research
Laboratory (BFRL) of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST) conducted field observations of
multi-family residences three stories or more in height
in the affected area for the purposes of identifying
common damage states in residential construction.
Sixty-nine HUD-affiliated sites, totalling 425 buildings
and over 10,000 living units, were visually examined
from the exterior and interior. Buildings were selected
for observation based on distance from the epicenter and
amount of damage. Examinations were documented on a
data collection form and with photographs. By collecting
information primarily on damaged buildings, it was
possible to identify typical types and degrees of damage
to residential buildings. Only a few HUD-affiliated
buildings were severely damaged. By and large the
damage observed was minor and cosmetic, consisting
largely of cracks to interior and exterior wall
surfaces. Nevertheless, this type of nonstructural
damage will be costly to repair. Documentation of the
costs of repairing Northridge earthquake damage would
greatly expand the existing body of knowledge on this
subject. The damage observations suggest that further
studies of the social and economic costs of earthquake
damage are needed, along with studies of the costs and
benefits of more stringent seismic design and
construction requirements. These studies would
illuminate many of the issues surrounding the current
debate over whether seismic requirements for new and
renovated construction should be upgraded to mandate
property protection as well as protection of human life.