Plan of Action -- The 10-Point Safer Program
While planning and funding a comprehensive seismic safety program
is a major challenge, it also presents an extraordinary opportunity
for the campus to re-examine its priorities, processes, and programs
for capital development and facility reinvestment. The campus
will be able to take a more comprehensive approach to construction
rather than the building-by-building approach common in the past.
For example, the size and distribution of classrooms could be
changed to improve service to the campus. Also, in planning for
any major new development the campus should consider whether the
facility should be constructed to a higher than typical level
of seismic resistance, enabling the facility to provide emergency
services to the campus and local community in the event of a major
In addition, the campus has the opportunity to design all new
building projects to performance criteria consistent with institutional
sustainability; that is, for continued operation soon after an
Though this will be a long-term, costly undertaking, the new assessment
provides the campus an exceptional framework from which to develop
a strategic plan to deliver the most responsible, effective, and
To address the problem aggressively, Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl
has committed $1 million to intensify campus planning and has
announced a 10-point action plan that includes a high-level administrative
restructuring to focus on the issue. The 10-point plan, called
the SAFER (Seismic Action plan for Facilities Enhancement and
Renewal) Program, provides a comprehensive approach to seismic
safety on the UC Berkeley campus.
The key elements of the 10-point plan are:
1. A new Chancellors cabinet-level position to be titled Vice
Chancellor for Capital Projects will be created.
A primary component of the new Vice Chancellors charge will be
to oversee all aspects of the SAFER Program. The search for this
position will be initiated immediately with the appointment of
a senior search committee chaired by a member of the Chancellors
Cabinet. The committee will include participation from the College
of Environmental Design, the College of Engineering or other appropriate
academic units, a comparable administrator at another campus of
the University of California or the Office of the President, and
a member of the UC Berkeley Foundation, in addition to senior
staff from existing units within Business and Administrative Services.
It is anticipated that this search will be completed within six
In the meantime, the Chancellor will appoint an Interim Vice Chancellor
for Capital Programs.
2. An Executive Campus Planning Committee to be chaired by the
Chancellor will be responsible for all physical planning decisions
on the campus.
The committee will approve the siting of new facilities, the initiation,
scope, and priority of major projects, the campus physical plan
and plans for campus precincts, financing strategies for capital
projects, and final design for campus buildings. In addition,
the committee will take responsibility for reviewing future needs
to meet commitments to the academic program.
The committee will meet monthly and will be chaired by the Chancellor.
Its membership will consist of the Chancellors Cabinet, the Chair
and Vice Chair of the Academic Senate, the Chair of the Design
and Review Committee, and an undergraduate and a graduate student.
3. Specific committees will be established to focus on precinct
planning and campuswide operational planning.
- Precinct Planning committees will assess the seismic needs of
campus precincts with particular attention to current seismic
upgrading plans, non-seismic facility needs, and options for temporary
facilities. They will provide priorities where appropriate. Functional
areas to be addressed include instruction, research, and infrastructure
exterior to buildings. The main precincts are:
- Agricultural and Life Sciences
- Engineering and Earth Sciences
- Mathematics and Physical Sciences
- Art, Music and Professions
- Humanities and Social Sciences
- Library and Administration
- Student Services and Recreation
- Off-Campus Sites
- A Classroom Seismic Assessment and Recovery Committee has been
established. This committee is charged with assessment of current
general assignment and departmental classroom resources, in light
of the seismic report, and the setting of priorities to retrofit
classroom facilities. Further, it will be responsible for the
development of a plan for recovery of campus classroom resources
following a major seismic event.
- A Research Seismic Assessment and Recovery Committee will be established.
It will have similar responsibilities to the classroom committee
in the campuss research arena.
- A Utility Infrastructure Seismic Assessment and Recovery Committee
will be formed to address the seismic safety of critical infrastructure
services such as water, power, sewer, gas, and communications.
It will analyze the campuss exterior utility infrastructure in
light of potential damage from a major earthquake and recommend
actions and strategies to permit continued service or rapid recovery.
4. Determine the need for full or partial closure of any facilities
deemed an unacceptable risk.
The campus has longstanding policies regarding the establishment
of priorities for seismic correction projects. The key factor
is minimizing exposure to risk or personal injury for users of
campus facilities, should a significant earthquake occur. Priority
is based primarily on the highest Equivalent Continuous Occupancy,
or ECO, of each facility and its seismic rating, with Very Poor
being a higher priority than Poor. Basic seismic corrections are
planned to improve the rating of a structure to Good, which means
the facility may or may not be functional after a major earthquake
but the risk of serious personal injury or loss of life will be
All decisions regarding changes in functions of facilities provoked
by seismic conditions in a building will be made by the Executive
Campus Planning Committee. Options may including closure of an
entire building, non-use of certain facilities within a building,
or relocation to minimize occupancy of heavily used facilities.
Additional seismic evaluation will be necessary to address this
issue fully. In particular, the second phase of the seismic re-evaluation,
to be completed in mid-November, will ascertain the current status
of those buildings previously rated as Poor. Phase 2 will also
encompass the campuss outlying facilities, including the Richmond
Field Station, Clark Kerr Campus, and Botanical Garden.
For safety considerations, immediate attention with regard to
reducing occupancy will be given to all buildings rated as Very
Poor. In addition, for all buildings rated Poor or Very Poor,
consideration will be given to phasing strategies or intermediate
retrofit possibilities that could provide a significant improvement
in safety until a more permanent solution can be implemented.
5. Develop, coordinate, and establish an integrated planning process
with a goal of producing a master plan for facilities renewal.
To ensure that all campus capital resources are invested effectively,
it will be necessary to coordinate closely with other planned
improvement projects. This will avoid unwise investment in facilities
slated for major construction or possible demolition, and will
enable the targeting and timing of investment to maximize leverage
of available funds. Significant efficiencies and cost savings
can be realized if funding from different sources can be blended
early in the programming stages of major projects.
Key components of this plan will be the new Executive Campus Planning
Committee and Precinct Planning committees. An immediate requirement
in this planning process is a detailed building systems assessment
with particular attention to buildings rated as Poor or Very Poor.
Most of the seismically deficient buildings were constructed before
1960 and thus contain a disproportionate share of the campuss
deferred maintenance backlog, which exceeds $150 million. They
also contain building systems that are at or beyond the range
of their economic life cycle and in critical need of replacement
or renewal. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing system deficiencies
are found throughout older campus facilities. Building systems
renewal must be an integral planning consideration in the seismic
program if the campus is to maintain its mission and meet its
6. The campus will overhaul capital project management to improve
cost containment, consider new capital program delivery strategies,
shorten schedules, and streamline campus policies.
The campus is currently evaluating its management of capital projects.
In light of the expected increase in the capital program due to
additional seismic projects, the Chancellor has decided to elevate
the position of the Planning, Design and Construction (PD&C) department
so that it will report directly to the new Vice Chancellor for
Additional immediate evaluation will result in recommendations
for changes in both the resource base and organization of PD&C
and other departments involved with the capital program so that
the campus can handle the much expanded capital program effectively
and assist in the development of our seismic retrofit master plan.
7. The campus will develop plans for a variety of temporary relocation
or surge space, sites, and buildings.
Strategies to create or provide adequate surge space for the seismic
program vary depending on the quantity, type, duration, and schedule
of need. If carried out over 20 years, the seismic program would
require surge space in the range of 100,000 to 150,000 assignable
square feet (ASF), depending on the sequence and timing of projects.
Of this, approximately 30,000 ASF is estimated to be research
lab space. Approximately 65,000 ASF of nonlab space will become
available by the year 2000 as projects presently funded for construction
are completed, but many of these sites are scattered and some
of the space is of limited use. There is a potential need for
50,000 ASF or more of additional office-type surge space. These
figures are averages, and research lab needs could vary considerably
from year to year.
There are a number of variables in selecting appropriate sites
for temporary relocation of facilities. For example, core instruction
and research functions are recommended as highest priority for
central campus surge and replacement space.
8. The campus will develop and initiate a multiple-source financing
plan to implement the master plan.
There are three general sources of funding for the seismic retrofit
program: the state, the federal government, and the University.
The campus is currently receiving an average of $20 million per
year from the state for capital projects; for planning purposes
this has been projected to continue indefinitely for the seismic
In the past, the federal government has provided funding through
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to some institutions
in the past for seismic-related projects, although this support
has been predominantly for after-the-fact repairs rather than
for the type of mitigation effort anticipated in our seismic retrofit
program. Conversations with federal government officials are still
in the preliminary phase.
Berkeley campus funding will come from several venues. Campus
housing and parking projects are expected to be funded from Housing
and Dining Services and Parking reserves. Student fees and campus
gifts will be sources of funds for some projects. In addition,
the Chancellor expects to make a significant contribution of central
campus reserves to meet the needs of the seismic program. Funding
may also be sought through The Regents.
9. The campus is undertaking a comprehensive emergency preparedness
review. This will include mitigating nonstructural hazards, assuring
that emergency facilities and critical services are available,
and providing emergency response training.
Under the direction of the Emergency Preparedness Manager, a process
is being established to determine the facilities necessary to
provide critical services and respond efficiently and effectively
to a major seismic event. Critical service facilities and infrastructure
systems include emergency communications, such as the emergency
broadcast channel, cellular phone network, and police dispatch
unit; health and emergency aid; emergency supplies and equipment
holding areas; food services and refuge areas; and emergency shelter
zones and staging areas for external logistics support. Campuswide
disaster drills and training programs are scheduled.
10. The campus will develop a comprehensive communications plan
to ensure that all members of the campus community are adequately
The SAFER Program, with its implications for the security of the
campus community and for the sustained operation of the institution
in the event of a major earthquake, will remain an overriding
priority of the campus for many years to come.