Vanir, as team leader of the joint venture with Turner Construction Company, worked with the Division of the State Architect (DSA) in response to the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. The Earthquake Safety and Public Buildings Rehabilitation Bond Act required that the DSA determine criteria and establish priorities for state-owned buildings that were seismically deficient and needed strengthening. Funding was designated for retrofitting, reconstruction, repair, replacement or relocation of the highest priority, unsafe and state-owned buildings.
The first step was to establish a methodology for reviewing 17,000 state-owned buildings. Once the review process began, Vanir worked with the DSA and structural engineers to determine the best retrofit plans, identify retrofit costs utilizing a cost model approach, provide information on replacement costs to study the cost/benefit comparison between replacement and retrofit plans and assist in the preparation of a final report. When the review was complete, a list of the most vulnerable, occupied buildings was submitted for approval and funding.
Seismic retrofit of the most vulnerable structures
Fifty-one of the most vulnerable buildings, including hospitals, office buildings and correctional facilities were funded. The program required concurrent seismic retrofitting of buildings throughout the state. The selected buildings remained occupied and in operation during their retrofit. Vanir established the program management plan to ensure that the dual-responsibility of the DSA and other agencies was successful and that all projects proceeded as intended.