Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.

Chapter 5B Earthquake Hazard Reduction in Unreinforced Masonry Bearing Wall Buildings

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
(NOTE: The time limits for compliance with the provisions of Chapters 5B and 5C have passed, but the ordinance and the time limits therein are still in effect.)

Section 501B Purpose

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote public safety and welfare by reducing the risk of death or injury that may result from the effects of an earthquake on existing unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings.

The provisions of this chapter are intended as minimum standards for structural seismic resistance for earthquake ground shaking and are established primarily to reduce the risk of life loss or injury. Compliance with these provisions will not necessarily prevent loss of life or injury, or prevent earthquake damage to rehabilitated structures, or protect against the release of hazardous materials, or protect the function of essential facilities. These provisions are not intended to mitigate ground failure hazards such as liquefaction. The Community Safety Element of the General Plan of the City and County of San Francisco should be consulted for areas most susceptible to ground failure.

Time limits are given for owners of unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings to submit an inventory of each building and an evaluation of the degree of risk presented by the building. Priorities and time limits are established for work to be completed.

Requirements for seismic strengthening of unreinforced buildings are contained in Chapter 5C.

Section 502B Scope

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all existing buildings having one or more bearing walls of unreinforced masonry as defined in Chapter 5C.
EXCEPTIONS:
  1. Buildings housing Group R Occupancies containing less than five dwelling units or guest rooms and used solely for residential purposes.
  2. Buildings accessory to and on the same lot as those described in Exception 1.
  3. Buildings which have been brought into full compliance with the requirements of SFEBC Section 303.4 in effect on or after May 21, 1973.
     Compliance with the provisions of Chapters 5B and 5C does not supersede the requirement for compliance with SFEBC Section 303.4 when otherwise required under SFEBC.

     A permit issued solely for compliance with any of the procedures of Chapters 5B and 5C of this code shall not be considered "substantial change" or "structural work" as defined in SFEBC and compliance with SFEBC Section 303.4 will not be required.

Section 503B Definitions

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
For the purpose of Chapters 5B and 5C, certain terms are defined as follows:

     BOLTS-PLUS is the installation of shear and tension anchors at the roof and floors and, when required, the bracing of the unreinforced masonry bearing walls upon evaluation of the height-to-thickness ratio of these walls.

     POOR SOIL is all soil lying bayward of the line indicating the landward limit of Bay Mud deposits as shown on the U.S. Geological Survey Map MF-1376, title "Map Showing the 200-feet thickness contour of surficial deposits and the landward limit of Bay Mud deposits of San Francisco, California," by William B. Joyner, 1982.
EXCEPTION: A building need not be considered as being located on poor soil when a subsurface exploration demonstrates that the soil is not underlain by Bay Mud.

     UNREINFORCED MASONRY BEARING WALL BUILDING is a building or structure having at least one unreinforced masonry bearing wall.

Section 504B Compliance Requirements

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.

504B.1 General

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The owner of each unreinforced masonry bearing wall building within the scope of this chapter and Chapter 5C shall cause a structural analysis to be made of the building by a registered civil or structural engineer or licensed architect, and, if the building does not meet the minimum standards specified in this code except as provided for in Chapters 5B and 5C, the owner shall cause the building to be structurally altered to conform to such standards or cause the building to be demolished pursuant to the program implementation schedule set forth.

504B.2 Program Implementation

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The requirements stated in Section 504B.1 above shall be accomplished by submitting to the Building Official the following:

504B.2.1 Inventory Form

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The owner is required to submit to the Department, within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A, a properly completed inventory form, signed and sealed by the owner's civil or structural engineer or architect. See San Francisco Building Code Section 110A, Table 1A-S for the applicable fee for the review of the inventory form. A failure to respond within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A is a violation of this code.

TABLE 5B-A
PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION SCHEDULE 1, 2
I II III IV V
Risk Level of Building Submission of Inventory Form to DBI Application of Building Permit with Plans or Application for Demolition4 Permit Processing and Approval4 Structural Alterations Completion3,4
1 1.0 2.0 2.5 3.5
2 1.0 2.5 3.0 5.0
3 1.0 8.0 9.0 11.0
4 1.0 10.0 11.0 13.0


1 All time periods are in years measured from February 15, 1993.
2 When compliance with this table is required, the time limits and extensions of San Francisco Building Code Chapter 1A are not applicable.
3 One or more extensions of time totaling not more than two years may be approved by the Building Official for a building with preexisting lease(s) due to expire, for tenant relocation conditions, for delays in obtaining financing under the City bond fund loan program and for other conditions causing delay. Such extension requests must be submitted to the Chief Building Inspector in writing prior to the expiration of the permit with payment of a fee. Any construction inspection granted under this footnote during the period of extension will require payment of an inspection fee in addition to the basic extension fee. These extensions are not cumulative with the extensions allowed by Footnote 4.
4 For structures containing Occupancy Group A or E and owned by organizations exempt from taxation under the Internal Revenue laws of the United States and the Revenue and Taxation Code of the State of California as bona fide fraternal, charitable, benevolent, religious or other nonprofit organizations, extensions of time in increments of not more than three years up to the maximum time limit set forth in Column V of this table may be approved by the Building Official, provided all of the following conditions are met:
1. The owner demonstrates that an application has been made for funding available under the general obligation bond or the owner is actively seeking other sources of funds; and
2. The building is vacated and secured to the Building Official's satisfaction. For Occupancy Group A buildings only, in lieu of vacation, an owner may agree in writing to limit occupancy of the building for use as an assembly building with an actual occupant load greater than 299 persons to not more than 12 hours per week or four hours in any one day. The signs required by California Government Code Section 8875.8 shall also be posted at each entrance to the building; and
3. When deemed necessary by the Building Official, pedestrian protection canopies complying with San Francisco Building Code Chapter 33 and Department of Public Works Order No. 157,501 are erected and maintained along sidewalks adjacent to the building; and
4. The Building Official finds that there is no hazard to any adjacent building or that hazard is satisfactorily mitigated; and
5. The owner, for the period of time in which the extension is in effect, agrees not to file an application for a demolition permit.

504B.2.2 Risk Assessment

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.

504B.2.2.1 General

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.
When filling out the required information on the inventory form, the owner's architect or civil or structural engineer shall assign to the building a relative level of risk depending upon the occupancy, soil conditions at the site and the density of the population exposed.

504B.2.2.2 Level of Risk Assigned

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
  1. Level 1 buildings are buildings containing Groups A Occupancies with an occupant load of 300 or more; or Group E Occupancies, and those buildings greater than three stories in height which are located on poor soil.
  2. Level 2 buildings are all non-Level 1 buildings which are located on poor soil in the Downtown, North of Market/Civic Center, South of Market, South of Market Residential and Chinatown Unreinforced Masonry Building Study Areas as delineated on Figure 5B-1.
  3. Level 3 buildings are buildings in the above areas which are not located on poor soil and buildings located on poor soil outside the above areas.
  4. Level 4 buildings are all other unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings.
FIGURE 5B-1UNREINFORCED MASONRY BUILDING STUDY AREAS
  1. Downtown
  2. South of Market
  3. South of Market/Residential
  4. North of Market/Civic Center
  5. Bush Street Corridor
  6. Van Ness/Polk
  7. Chinatown
  8. North Beach
  9. Waterfront
  10. Mission/Upper Market
  11. Outlying

504B.2.3 Engineering Reports

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The owner shall engage a registered civil or structural engineer or licensed architect to prepare an engineering report on the building when:
  1. An owner desires to demolish a qualified historical building or any building containing a nonexempt Group R Occupancy rather than retrofit the building, and a report is requested by the Building Official or the Building Official of the Planning Department; or
  2. The Bolts-plus level of strengthening is proposed; or
  3. Strengthening to comply with the State Historical Building Code is proposed; or
  4. The owner believes the building complies with Chapters 5B and 5C without any further alteration.
     The engineering report shall detail applicable retrofit requirements of the least restrictive retrofit procedure for which the building qualifies. The required retrofit measures shall be developed schematically, and a conceptual construction cost estimate shall be included. If the Bolts-plus level of strengthening defined above and described in Exception 1 to Section 509C.2 is proposed, the necessary measures for compliance with the Special Procedure of Section 511C shall also be designated, and a second cost estimate for this option shall also be included in the report. If the engineering report demonstrates that no deficiencies exist, and the report is approved by the Department, the structure will be considered to conform to the requirements of this chapter. Except as noted in 1. above, the report shall be submitted not later than the date when the application for the building permit to either strengthen or demolish the building would otherwise be required. The format and content of the engineering report shall comply with the provisions of rules and regulations to be issued by the Building Official pursuant to San Francisco Building Code Section 104A.2.1 after consultation with the Seismic Safety Retrofit Bond Program Board. See San Francisco Building Code Section 110A, Table 1A-S for the applicable fee for the review of the engineering report.

504B.2.4 Application for Building Permit

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The owner shall submit to the Department an application for a structural alteration permit accompanied by structural plans, specifications and calculations for the proposed mitigation solution or a permit application to demolish the building. Time limits for submission of the application and for permit processing and approval are established in Table 5B-A.

504B.2.5 Commencement and Completion of Construction

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Construction work shall commence and a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final inspection of work under a demolition permit shall be obtained within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A.

504B.2.6 Transfer of Title

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
No transfer of title shall alter the time limits for compliance set forth in Table 5B-A.

Section 505B Administration

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.

505B.1 Service of Notice

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This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The ordinance enacting Chapters 5B and 5C that the Building Official, not later than February 15, 1993, issue a notice to comply with Section 504B.1 to the owner of each building known by the Department to be within the scope of this chapter.1 The notice shall be accompanied by an informational letter or brochure and a sample inventory form. The enacting ordinance further provided that if, on or before February 15, 1993, an owner of an unreinforced masonry bearing wall building had knowledge that he or she owns such a building, then failure of the Building Official to issue a notice or failure of the owner to receive such a notice would not relieve the owner of the obligation to comply with the provisions of Chapters 5B and 5C within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A. An owner is presumed to have knowledge that he or she owns an unreinforced masonry bearing wall building if the building is on the inventory list of potential hazardous unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings required by Section 8877(a) of the California Government Code.

     For buildings not known to the Department to be unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings and whose owners had no knowledge that the buildings are unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings, the ordinance provided that the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A shall commence upon the owners having actual or constructive knowledge that their buildings are unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings.

     The time limits for compliance with the provisions of this Chapter 5B and Chapter 5C have passed, however the compliance requirements are still in effect. As provided above, for those buildings within the scope of Chapters 5B and 5C not known to the Department to be unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings, and whose owners did not have actual or constructive knowledge that their buildings are unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings, the time limits set forth in Table 5B-B commences upon the owners having such actual or constructive knowledge. Those owners who had actual knowledge on or before February 15, 1993, or are presumed to have had such knowledge, are in violation of this Code and are subject to enforcement action by the Department pursuant to Section 102A of the Building Code.

505B.2 Appeal From Notice

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The owner or the owner's agent may appeal the Building Official's notice to the Board of Examiners in accordance with San Francisco Building Code Section 105A.1.

505B.3 Processing and Recordation

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Within 30 days of receipt of the inventory form, the Building Official shall review it and either approve it as submitted or reject it and return it for correction. Inventory forms returned for correction shall be revised by the owner's architect or engineer and returned to the Department within 30 days of the date of the Department's initial rejection. The Building Official shall cause to be recorded with the Assessor-Recorder's Office a notice of the requirement for structural alteration or demolition and the inventory form. The Building Official may cause such a notice to be recorded upon expiration of the time limits for submittal of the inventory form as stated in Table 5B-A.

505B.4 Enforcement

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Whenever an inventory form has not been submitted or a notice issued by the Building Official to structurally alter or demolish an unreinforced masonry bearing wall building has not been complied with within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A, the Building Official shall have the power to abate the building in accordance with San Francisco Building Code Section 102A.

505B.5 Removal From Inventory

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
After all of the retrofit work required by this chapter and Chapter 5C has been completed in any building to the satisfaction of the Building Official and a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy has been issued in accordance with San Francisco Building Code Section 109, or after a final inspection of building demolition work has been made, or if the Building Official finds that no retrofit work is required, the Building Official shall remove that building from the inventory list of potentially hazardous unreinforced masonry bearing wall buildings required by Section 8877(a) of the California Government Code. The Building Official shall thereupon cause to be filed with the Assessor-Recorder's Office a release of any notice or Abatement Order recorded under Section 505B.3 or 505B.4. Additionally, the Department shall furnish to each owner upon satisfactory completion of a retrofit a sign, on a standard Department form, of the same size as that required by California Government Code Section 8875.8, stating "This building has been seismically retro-fitted to reduce the risk of death or injury in the event of a major earthquake pursuant to Chapters 5B and 5C of the San Francisco Existing Building Code." The sign shall also indicate the retrofit procedure used and shall bear the signature of the Building Official. The posting of the sign shall be at the option of the owner.

505B.6 Voluntary Seismic Strengthening

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The owner of a building that is exempt from compliance with this chapter may voluntarily retrofit the building using the procedures for seismic strengthening set forth in Chapter 5C.

505B.7 Application of Future Retrofitting Legislation

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
It is the present intent of the Board of Supervisors that, absent a compelling public safety necessity, buildings strengthened pursuant to Chapter 5C will not be subject to future mandatory seismic retrofitting legislation adopted by the Board.

505B.8 Phased Strengthening

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
Other provisions of this code notwithstanding, an unreinforced masonry bearing wall building may be strengthened in phases under multiple alteration permits, provided:
  1. A complete structural analysis accompanied by plans, specifications and calculations for the proposed mitigation solution is submitted to the Department with the first alteration permit application; and
  2. A phasing program is submitted to and approved by the Department as part of the review of the first alteration permit application; and
  3. Each subsequent alteration permit application clearly indicates the further work proposed and the work completed to date; and
  4. The engineer or architect responsible for the structural design for the strengthening program provides structural requirements observation in accordance with San Francisco Building Code Section 1704.6; and
  5. All of the required strengthening work is completed within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A.
This chapter does not require alteration of existing electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire protection or life-safety systems which are in compliance with the code in effect at the time of their construction or installation. The application of SFEBC Section 501.5 relating to homeless shelters does not waive the requirement for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and Chapter 5C within the time limits set forth in Table 5B-A. This section does not exempt any building from compliance with the requirements of State or Federal disability access regulations.

Section 507B Energy Conservation

AMENDMENT
This section has been amended at the state or city level.
The provisions of California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 6, the California Energy Code, San Francisco Housing Code, Chapter 12 (the Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance) are not applicable to buildings altered as required by this chapter, unless the alteration work also constitutes a change in use as defined in SFEBC Section 506, or increases the conditioned space or alters the lighting or mechanical systems.
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