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Session Details

Seismic Risk Reduction for Buildings: A Conversation About Options and Action 

15 September 2020

Webinar Format
Interactive Workshop

Presentation and Discussion


The session will facilitate a conversation among stakeholders on policy options for seismic risk reduction for buildings.


This session will provide an overview of the current regulatory context for buildings in British Columbia as it relates to seismic risk reduction and will explore potential policy tools and approaches for vulnerable building types as well as new tools to pursue risk reduction action.  It will explore seismic risk reduction in the context of transformational opportunities, where the nexus of issues of affordability, potential displacement or disruption of residents, and cost, among other intersections, are at work. This session will present early, high-level findings from cutting-edge risk assessment work as well as a detailed account of the provincial regulatory context around existing buildings to ground a case study-based discussion of potential policy tools to reduce our risk. The session will use the Province’s development and expansion of performance-based seismic retrofit guidelines (SRG) to deepen our engagement regarding risk reduction policy possibility. 


The session will be structured as two presentations followed by an interactive workshop style discussion that is then followed by a presentation on the SRG which will allow for another deeper discussion on risk reduction tools at all levels of government and within all sectors. 

The ideal audience would be participants from engineering firms, policy experts, interested stakeholders from property management, and the construction sector. It would be great to have both familiar faces at the table and new faces, as much of the information will be new or new in the sense that it is presented all at once.

Discussion Questions

  • At a high level, what would be everyone’s top 3 solutions? That is, given the list of building types what would be the most effective AND most feasible means to reducing risk in each of those building types (5-7)? From this high-level question, we can use this to isolate policy options generally and start to understand the opportunities and constraints.

  • What are the unique challenges to each general type use (of buildings) - high-density and low density multi-family residential, low-density commercial (retail, office) and higher density commercial? 

  • What are key secondary regulation and enabling mechanisms that would be needed or required? e.g., tenant protections, funding programs (more specifically than they generally exist), examples from failures and successes of policy addressing other goals and challenges, etc


Convened by Micah Hilt & Andrew Pape-Salmon, With Kylie Sandham

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