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  • April 12, 2022 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    LOS ANGELES, Calif., (April 12, 2022) – On the heels of Women in Construction Week and the last day of Women’s History Month, four architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry professional women’s organizations joined forces for the inaugural Women Working Together (WWT) Networking Event. A collaboration between the American Institute of Architects, Los Angeles Women in Architecture Committee (AIALA-WiA); National Association of Women in Construction Los Angeles Chapter (NAWIC-LA); Structural Engineers Association of Southern California Women in Structural Engineering Committee (SEAOSC-WiSE) and Women in Operations Southern California Chapter (WiOPS), the sold-out evening event took place on March 31, 2022 at City Green in Downtown Los Angeles. 

    With approximately 170 people in attendance, this was the first time these four organizations have collaborated to provide an opportunity for their members to interact. In keeping with the “women working together” theme, the event featured a selection of wine procured and made by women wine makers from Vinovore, as well as a special performance by Spags, an electric female violinist who is a master at creatively merging the classical violin with modern music.

    “Working in male-dominated industries of varying degrees, women in architecture, engineering and construction careers may not have many other women to interact with and learn from in their daily work environments.” says Michelle Kam-Biron, WWT Steering Committee member representing SEAOSC-WiSE, mass timber specialist at Structurlam. “The WWT Networking Event provided an opportunity for the participating professional organizations and members to connect as a larger group and expand their voice, work to increase opportunities for principal positions in their industries and develop mutually beneficial relationships moving forward.”

    “This event, during Women’s History Month, delivers allyship, support and collaboration that will lead to positive change in our professions well beyond this celebratory time,” said Jennifer Noel Wong, WWT Steering Committee member representing AIA|LA -WiA, Associate at CO Architects.

    With the numbers beginning to improve due to company and professional organization efforts like the WWT event, women are still underrepresented in the AEC industry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women comprise only 10.9% of construction industry workers, yet they make up 47% of the nation’s workforce. Architecture and engineering fare a little better with women comprising just 27% of the workers in this sector.  Studies also show that AEC industry careers for women are often short lived due to inflexible hours, non-progressive culture, lack of advancement and limited mentorship opportunities. 

    “In response to the AEC industry experiencing pre- and post-pandemic talent shortages along with increases in market demands and realizing the advantages of having a diverse staff, attracting and retaining more women to AEC careers has become a growing industry-wide focus,” says Kam-Biron.  “Exemplifying this movement, the organizations leading WWT are seeing an uptick in engagement among industry companies boosting our efforts to support and advance women in their AEC careers.”

    “The company sponsorships and turnout for our inaugural WWT event were overwhelming,” said Ileana Holguin, WWT Steering Committee member representing NAWIC-LA, vice president, project executive at McCarthy Building Companies.  “It was inspiring to meet and talk with so many supportive men and women in different AEC-industry roles and stages of their careers. With college interns, project managers, vice presidents, business owners and more engaging in conversations, everyone had the opportunity to develop fruitful new business connections and relationships.” 

    The event garnered the financial support of 21 companies including: Brandow & Johnston, Coleman Equipment Rentals, Clark Construction, IMEG Corporation, McCarthy Building Companies, Pacific Wall Systems, Inc., T&S Structural, Abet Laminati, Giroux Glass Inc., HBC, JRM Construction West, Martin Bros., Murray Company, Vulcan Materials Company, Structural Focus, Thornton Tomasetti, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Kimley Horn, MATT Construction, Miyamoto and USGBC-LA. 

    Kelly Strain, senior project manager at Chambers Group, and environmental consulting firm, said, “A highlight for me was having the opportunity to meet a vast array of interesting, bright, and accomplished individuals.” Other positive feedback about the evening echoed by multiple attendees reflected the pleasure they received in connecting with other women, discovering opportunities to positively impact the advancement of women, being part of the significant turnout—of both men and women—to support women in the industry, and last but not least, enjoying an elegant event, venue and entertainment.

    The planning team reveals that this will likely not be an isolated event. “Due to this level of interest within the industry, the WWT steering committee is planning another WWT event next year and will continue to look for regular opportunities to network with one another,” says Kam-Biron.

    The following individuals served on the WWT steering committee: Michelle Kam-Biron, SEAOSC-WiSE, Structurlam; Ashley Richardson, AIALA-WiA, Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects; Jennifer Noel Wong, AIALA-WiA, CO Architects; Leah Wimberly, WiOPS, Pacific Wall Systems, Inc; Barbara Kotsos, NAWIC-LA, Giroux Glass; Ileana Holguin, and NAWIC-LA, McCarthy Building Companies.

  • April 04, 2022 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    Dear Members,

    As I reflect on the month of March - my first thought is “We’re Back”! The Association hit its stride this month with THREE unique in-person programs for your enjoyment and development. A majority of you join SEAOSC for technical training, the community, and/or the professional development. Well, I think we were able to check each of those boxes this past month.

    The day-long Sustainability in Structural Design summit was a great success. It brought together engineers from across the state to learn and share how members of our industry are responding to the call for reduced embodied carbon in buildings. We reviewed the fundamentals of embodied carbon, explored the owner and policy side of reduced carbon initiatives, and took tips from successful projects right in our own backyard. I was struck by Sara Neff’s message (and I’m going to paraphrase here) that to an owner with aggressive target sustainability goals, Structural Engineer’s are now one of the first consultants invited to her table for programming and design development because structural material choices have such an impact in the bigger energy conversation. I left the day excited for the role we can play in bringing change to our communities, and with a promise to revisit and revamp my standard project specs. A sincere thank you goes to Sustainability Chair Luke Lombardi for orchestrating such a powerful event. For those who were not able to join us, check out this Resources Pocketbook, thoughtfully assembled by our event planning committee. Also mark your calendars for June when we intend to compliment this discussion with content that includes resilience, adaptive reuse, and circular economy.

    For a different spin on professional development, our half-day public speaking workshop was not only successful, but a lot of fun too! Thanks to Nance Rosen’s energetic approach, we spent time exploring how to make each encounter meaningful and rich for the audience. I took many notes, but the one line that is circled and underlined at the top of the page is this… “all speaking is public speaking”. Whether an audience of 1 or 1,000 we should come to the conversation prepared and ready to illustrate a meaningful message. Thanks to the support of CSI and grant funding from NCSEA we will be providing all of our members with a 1 hour video that will allow you to explore some of this content in the comfort of your office chair.

    And finally, last week SEAOSC’s WiSE Committee partnered with AIALA-AiA, NAWIC LA, and WiOPS to put on the Women Working Together Networking Event. This too was a success with over 175 attendees from across the A/E/C industry. It was exciting to see this cross association collaboration, and I look forward to future endeavors. A nod of gratitude goes to Michelle Kam Biron for her vision and leadership in this event.

    If you missed these great opportunities, don’t fret, there is more coming up for you to take advantage of. On April 13th for example, we will be in Burbank for dinner and a panel discussion on how to navigate the business risks that Structural Engineers are faced with. Take a minute to jot it on your calendar and join us for the evening. I also encourage you to share your SEAOSC experiences with colleagues and friends. The most important component of our SEAOSC community are the people, and we would love to see that community grow. Please consider introducing us to one of your office mates by inviting them to accompany you to an upcoming event. We will even help with the registration - for each SEAOSC member who brings a guest on April 13th, your guest is welcome at our member rate. Additionally, we will provide you with 2 drink tickets. I look forward to chatting with each of you soon.

     

    Warmest Regards,

    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.

    SEAOSC President, 2021-22
  • March 14, 2022 8:04 PM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    The building and construction sector is responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions. To meet the 1.5°C carbon budget, all new buildings and major renovations must be designed to be zero carbon today.  The design decisions we make as structural engineers directly impact the ability for the design and construction industry to meet these goals. Structural engineers are in a key position to facilitate the mitigation of carbon emissions through the systems we design and materials we specify.  You can find additional information and resources in this article by SEAOSC Sustainability Committee Chair Luke Lombardi. 

    There are a number of ways in which the structural engineering community can lead, and in a first step the SEAOSC Board has taken a leadership position addressing concrete construction specifically: SEAOSC supports the use of low-carbon concrete as long as it performs the same or better than concrete conforming with current code requirements.

    So what does this mean for SEAOSC Members and SEAOSC Committees? Our Concrete Committee is empowered to work with technical and industry partners to help shape codes and design guidelines.  Our Sustainability Committee is empowered to provide resources and advocacy in the use of low carbon materials.  Our Legislative Action Committee is empowered to work with jurisdictions to create legislative change. And Members benefit from these efforts in the form of education opportunities for you and your colleagues, resources to share with clients, and tools for your projects, all while working together to reduce carbon in our communities.

  • March 08, 2022 8:55 AM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    By Luke Lombardi, PE, Co-Chair, SEAOSC Sustainability Committee

    You may have noticed the increasing number of news articles about climate change or have received increasingly frequent client communications inquiring about embodied carbon, LCAs, and net-zero buildings--topics generally unfamiliar to the traditional day-to-day activities of structural engineering. If you’ve been buried in calculations, coordination, and construction administration, these topics and endlessly new acronyms might feel a bit overwhelming. Let’s break it down and explain why these issues are important and relevant for structural engineers and why structural engineers play a vital role in guiding this pivotal transition towards sustainable building design.

    Full disclosure: we are sharing a lot of links. The intent isn’t to overload you, but to provide an ongoing resource. There is an abundance of foundational research and case studies available. Understanding a few basics is really all you need to know to start making an immediate impact. For quick reference, the most important points are underlined and bolded. Summary / action items are at the end.

    Climate science has been around for decades along with the corresponding calls to mitigate emissions. We’ve recently seen increasingly alarming reports from scientists and calls for action in Paris, Glasgow (Arch 2030 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué), and most recently with the IPCC’s Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability report. Governments, clients, and our industry member organizations have joined in this call for action by declaring a state of emergency around climate change (e.g. Engineers Declare). 

    Globally, we have a limited “carbon budget” of approximately 460bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) to have a 50% chance of keeping warming below 1.5C – that’s just 11.5 years of current (2020) emissions. Every fraction of a degree matters as cities and communities around the world are at risk (negative impacts outlined by Nasa and Carbon Brief). It is simply not feasible to adapt our building code provisions - think wind speeds or temperature ranges - at the same pace as  climate change.

    Aggressive reductions are needed now for emissions to be reduced in half by 2030 to realistically meet this budget. The shift towards renewable energy sources such as wind and solar is important, but buildings are also a pillar of the U.S. decarbonization plan.

    Buildings are responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions (EIA report, 2018) with about three quarters coming from building operations and the remaining quarter resulting from  materials and construction. In Los Angeles, this proportion is 43% of greenhouse gas emissionsmore than any other sector in the city, including transportation. Globally, the emissions from cement, steel, and aluminum manufacturing represent a staggering 23% of all emissions

    By 2060, the global building stock is projected to double. This is the equivalent of constructing an entire New York City every month. Embodied carbon emissions between now and 2050 are expected to be the source of the majority of emissions from this projected new construction.

    This is the purview of structural engineers. We specify the size and type of material needed for safe construction and have a responsibility to understand these elements best. Material quantity and the specified material, which has a corresponding global warming potential (GWP), form the basis for embodied carbon calculation. Though some might suggest this consideration is “out of scope,” has our industry not previously expanded other aspects of our expertise as new information is discovered? For example, every significant earthquake provides a new learning opportunity to access and adapt to better protect and serve our communities. We no longer use pre-Northridge steel moment connections. Management of embodied carbon in our structures is similarly an extension of practicing this responsibility to public safety.

    Is it even possible? SEI has published How to Get to Zero outlining different paths of design change, electrification, material innovation, and purchased offsets--some more costly than others.

    In the past year and a half, 75 structural engineering firms have joined SE 2050 to “support the vision that all structural engineers shall understand, reduce, and ultimately eliminate embodied carbon in their projects by 2050. This list of progressive companies includes 18 local structural engineering firms in the SEAOSC region. 

    What is the next step? Get informed about strategies for reduction from AIA, CLF, or LETI (UK). Using less carbon-intensive materials in new-builds and finding ways to extend the functional life of structures (e.g. circular economy).

    There is a growing precedent driving new policies that address embodied carbon similar to building operational emissions. Take the London Tulip for example. Embodied carbon legislation has now been introduced on the floor of British parliament, and as of this past February has been proposed in California as well.

    As structural engineers, we have a collective leadership opportunity to embrace this transition during the climate crisis. We can choose to support the responsible use of natural resources in design through resilient seismic design as well as adaptive reuse. Moving towards using materials that contribute to ecosystems and carbon sequestration is a challenge structural engineers are trained to meet.

    Summary: Carbon emissions generated from buildings, both old and new, significantly contribute to climate change. Structural engineers are in a key position to facilitate, rather than incumber, the mitigation of these emissions through the systems we design and materials we specify. Public perception, closely followed by public policy, is rapidly changing. By taking action now, as structural engineers, we can choose to define our leadership role rather than rely on others in the industry to prescribe changes to structural elements and design.

    How you can get started:

    Check out the SE 2050 Program Requirements Guidance Document for more ideas.
  • February 28, 2022 9:40 PM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    It was great connecting with so many of you this past month at the SEAOSC Trivia Night and SLO Structured Connections. The conversations were energizing to say the least. A big congratulations goes out to MHP’s trivia team for their amazing win, taking home the SEAOSC perpetual trivia trophy. I would be remiss if I didn’t share my sincerest gratitude to CSI for their unwavering support of SEAOSC and the trivia evening.

    February also brought us an engaging webinar on Business Development. This upbeat presentation by Lindsay Diven provided participants with networking tips and a gameplan to grow your connections. One of Lindsay’s nuggets of advice was to polish and refine your personal elevator pitch. If this is something you would like to work on, our Public Speaking Workshop is the place for you. Open to members of all age and experience levels, this workshop will allow you to develop effective communication techniques for client interactions, new business development, and internal collaboration and presentations. 

    Over this past month, I also had the opportunity to attend the Structural Forum, put on by the active students of Cal Poly SLO. While chatting with students, I found myself answering one question in particular many times: what got me involved in SEAOSC? Well…

    My first introduction to SEAOSC was as a student in the undergrad ARCE program at Cal Poly. Although smaller at that time, we had an active student SEAOC chapter that promoted mentorship, networking (or parties), and field trip opportunities. Ultimately, this student club gave me opportunities to step out of my comfort zone and lead. I held the Secretary position and Structural Forum Chair, two positions I embraced and made my own.

    The transition into SEAOSC as an emerging professional wasn’t an automatic step for me. When I graduated and started working, I wasn’t immediately surrounded by fellow SEAOSC members. Working in San Luis Obispo made regular participation in dinner meetings or committee work unrealistic (remember, this was long before Zoom). What ultimately led me back to SEAOSC was the technical expertise and educational opportunities the Association – and its connection with SEAOC/SEAONC – provided. As the industry transitioned out of the familiar 1997 UBC, SEAOSC’s resources are what helped me advance.

    So, the technical expertise is what brought me in, but the community is really what hooked me to become active. I believe that SEAOSC has given me the opportunity to cross paths with some of the most outstanding and interesting engineers – people that I don’t think I would have met any other way. The Association has also given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have been available in my firm alone. Opportunities to advocate for the profession while connecting with local and state governments. Opportunities to lead and manage on a very different scale from my intimate office setting. Opportunities to speak and present in an array of different forums. I can say with the utmost sincerity that SEAOSC has given me much more than I could ever give in return.

    If you are looking for some inspiration or an avenue to get more involved in our SEAOSC community, I invite you to join us this Wednesday for a virtual Night of Engineering Inspiration where we will introduce you to change-makers and trendsetters. Alexis Clark of HILTI North America will remind us what this profession is all about and the benefits that open up to us when we give back. Hear how some of our community members are leading the industry towards a more diverse and inclusive workplace environment. And if that’s not enough, you will also hear from the eloquent recipients of the 2022 SEAOSC Foundation Student Scholarships. Just to wet your appetite, here a few words of inspiration from some of my SEAOSC friends:

    By learning from and mentoring others, I find that SEAOSC is a great platform to foster community and gain visibility within the structural engineering profession.
    - Jessica Chen, S.E., SEAOSC Young Member Committee Co-Chair

    I am involved with SEAOSC because it is a great organization of individuals dedicated to the profession of structural engineering. It is a privilege to learn from those at the pinnacle of our profession and inspiring to engage with the next generation and future leaders of our profession. I encourage everyone to get involved. - Kevin O’Connell, S.E., SEAOSC President 2014-15

    Actively participating in SEAOSC allows me to make a difference in the structural engineering community and give back to my fellow engineers who also work hard to improve the built environment. - Maria Mohammed, S.E., SEAOSC 2021-22 Board Director

    I look forward to seeing you all very soon.

    Warmest Regards,

    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.
    SEAOSC President, 2021-22

    PS. for you book worms out there, I have two recommendations: Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell and The Engineer’s Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood. Happy reading.


  • February 01, 2022 10:56 AM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    Wow!  2022 is off to quite a start. I don’t know about you, but my calendar is filled with some really exciting opportunities in the coming months. 2022 for SEAOSC started off strong with the SEAOSC Student Career Fair. I would like to thank all the firms who participated to make the event successful,  and allowed us to connect with over 200 students. If you haven’t done so yet, I would encourage you to check out the 2022 SEAOSC Program Year; it is not just a calendar of membership meetings but a true reflection of the initiatives our committees and board are undertaking.

    SEAOSC does have a full schedule, and that is thanks to our dedicated members - volunteers with a passion to enhance our structural engineering community. All of the new programs on our agenda are brought to you by your peers, because it is a topic or resource that they are passionate about – events that our SEAOSC community can and will grow from. There are three new programs in particular that I would like to share with you:

    • SEAOSC Mentorship Program - Thoughtfully fostered out of our Women in Structural Engineering committee, and in collaboration with the Young Members committee, the D&I committee, and some of our Student Chapters, the inaugural pilot program is being launched in Spring of 2022. This structured program will offer opportunities for one-on-one mentoring as well as small group mentoring. I am excited to participate as a mentor not only to support the future of the profession but because it will surely foster new authentic relationships and grow my professional network. I expect that it will give me some feedback and insight on how to be a better manager. And, I am hoping it will help improve communication and leadership skills. If you would like to learn more about the SEAOSC Mentorship Program, please reach out to our SEAOSC office.

    • SEAOSC Public Speaking Workshop (March 19th) - Open to all members, this program is brought to you by our Young Member committee. The workshop is designed to give attendees the fundamentals of public speaking and effective communication for client interactions, new business development, and internal collaboration and presentations. These are valuable skills for all engineers as they work to advance in their career.  We are excited to offer this experience to our members at a reduced cost, thanks in part to grant support by the NCSEA Foundation.

    • Education Summit (March 18th) - Our Education Committee and Sustainability Committee have teamed up to bring you a day-long education program focused on Sustainability in Structural Design. In both the public sector and in private development, the industry is looking towards the future, and that future is “green.” The technical summit will kick off with "Embodied Carbon 101", address the life-cycle impact our main building materials have on the environment, and explore some successful case studies right here in California. Become familiar with emerging trends so that you can better serve your clients and our community.

    Please stay tuned to our weekly email announcements, for the latest in event news. With the current surge in COVID cases, our schedule has been fluid. The health and safety of our members and staff is our top priority and we continue to monitor and adjust our schedule.

    I hope you all find at least one new SEAOSC event that peaks your interest, and I look forward to seeing you there!

    Warmest Regards,

    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.
    SEAOSC President, 2021-22



  • January 17, 2022 9:56 PM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    This month, two SEAOSC members were recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal as Women of Influence: Construction, Architecture, & Engineering. This 4th annual distinction recognized 44 women from across Southern California.

    SEAOSC’s president-elect, Patti Harburg-Petrich of Buro Happold, was recognized for her professional work and leadership, highlighting her work in sustainability within her project portfolio.

    Member Liz Mahlow of Nous Engineering was also recognized as a leader for her project work around the globe and her work promoting the collaboration between architectural intent and structural performance.

    You can read more about Liz and Patti (as well as the other 42 honorees) here.

    The honorees in this special supplement were drawn from nomination materials submitted to the Los Angeles Business JournaI. “Those selected for inclusion were reviewed by the editorial department and chosen based on a demonstration of impact made on the profession and on the Los Angeles community.”
  • December 28, 2021 10:49 AM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    Two of SEAOSC's members will be honored in February for their dedication to the next generation of structural engineers. The ACE Spotlight Awards honors outstanding mentors for their dedication, leadership, and support of high school students in the ACE Mentor Program.  ACE brings Architecture, Construction and Engineering professionals into high schools twice a month to teach students and mentor them. This year, SEAOSC members Josh Rojo and Carmen O'Rourke, both of Degenkolb, are being recognized.

    Josh supports STEM Academy of Boyle Heights. This year, he stepped up as Team Leader and did everything possible to make sure he met with his students in person, knowing how much being there in person helps keep the students engaged.

    Carmen has served as Team Leader for the Downtown L.A. Team for many years and is one of ACE’s most involved mentors. This team includes students from three different schools which requires additional effort to coordinate, but Carmen is always there for her students.

    Congratulations to both of these members who represent the association and profession with dignity and esteem.


  • December 21, 2021 8:09 AM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    It's that time again… when we put a bow on our accomplishments of this year and prepare to ring in the new one.  No matter your traditions this holiday season, I wish you all the best in your celebrations.

    As I prepare my New Year's resolutions, the campaign tagline We SEE Above and Beyond keeps popping to mind. This is the slogan of the NCSEA marketing campaign that kicked off this fall, and something I want to make sure I promote in my work (both with my clients and within our community). The campaign is designed to draw awareness to the structural engineering profession and its vital role in society.  Structural Engineering Excellence (SEE) is more than through drawings and well executed calculations; it is the unique way we bring our communities to life. The campaign website, www.weseeaboveandbeyond.com, outlines key campaign messages which include:

    • We SEE our role in helping to form resilient communities.

    • We SEE the “big picture” vision of a project: its desired outcomes and its intended impact.

    • We SEE construction solutions using proactive leadership, communication, and creative problem-solving.

    • We SEE the integrity of building components and systems that create safety and security.

    I hope there are a few words here that speak to you; themes that encourage you to show and share how you SEE Above and Beyond.  Whether you share your experiences with colleagues in a staff meeting, show it to your clients at your next project kick off meeting, or teach it to our next generation; I hope you find a way to celebrate all that you do in 2022.

    Warmest Regards,

    Kelsey

    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.
    SEAOSC President, 2021-22


  • November 01, 2021 10:47 PM | John Bwarie (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    On June 13, 2021 Los Angeles County’s Board of Supervisors approved a motion regarding the assessment and safety of high-rise buildings in their jurisdiction. The motion directs the Department of Public Works (DPW) to take six actions; with Actions 3 and 4 having a direct impact on the practice of structural engineering.

    • Action 3 would require owners of certain buildings in select areas “to hire a structural engineer and to prepare engineering assessments.”
    • Action 4 directs a study of the “feasibility of requiring a certification inspection program for all similar type (high-rise) buildings in the unincorporated Los Angeles County area”. We understand a “certification inspection program” to involve engineering assessments beyond the normal scope of routine maintenance inspections.

    Over the past two months SEAOSC has had the opportunity to collaborate with DPW as the department prepares a formal response to the motion. Our members prepared and presented case studies that helped to illustrate the history and rarity of building failures under modern building codes. Our Safer Cities Advisory Group also created and distributed a survey to help DPW understand the current process used by Structural Engineers to assess existing buildings.  (You can read more about the survey findings here.)

    During our weekly meetings with DPW, SEAOSC was asked that we utilize our contacts and connections across the state as we consider the motion - which we were able to do through the support of SEAOC. Understanding that multiple California jurisdictions are contemplating similar questions to those posed in Los Angeles County, SEAOC convened an ad hoc committee of members from across the state to provide insight and perspective on this topic.  On October 13, 2021 SEAOSC, together with SEAOC, provided a formal position statement to DPW. Some key themes of the statement include:

    • For buildings with reported or known deficiencies, we encourage the County to achieve their objects using existing regulations to the extent possible. Relevant existing regulations include the CEBC (which requires the abatement of unsafe and dangerous buildings), the California Health and Safety Code, and the International Property Maintenance Code.

    • At present, we find that a new program of mandatory engineering assessments would be premature, and possibly counter-productive:

      1. Without an inventory, and while the causes of the Champlain Towers South collapse are still under investigation, there is no equitable or reliable definition of "similar type (high-rise) buildings."

      2. Without an extreme event like an earthquake, the sudden collapse of an occupied, maintained building in California is rare. We have no data that indicates mandatory “certification” prevents collapse. 

    • The County can develop outreach materials to remind building owners of their responsibility to maintain their buildings, to inform them of the resources available through DPW, and to explain the applicable existing codes, regulations, and legal precedents.

    We are expecting that DPW will be reporting to the Board of Supervisors in November, and will share additional information as it becomes available. 

    I would like to extend my gratitude to SEAOSC members Wayne Chang, Susan Dowty, Daniel Zepeda, Patti Harburg-Petrich, and our entire Safer Cities Advisory Group for their efforts in responding to this call in a timely fashion.  It is our community of passionate engineers that positions SEAOSC as a resource to our community leaders.  If advocacy, policy, and legislation is something that interests you, I would encourage you to check out the next scheduled Legislative Action Committee meeting.

    With that, I wish you all a wonderful November, and look forward to seeing you at our ‘Structured Connections’ membership meeting on November 3rd.

    Warmest Regards,

    Kelsey

    Kelsey Anne Parolini, S.E.
    SEAOSC President, 2021-22


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About SEAOSC

The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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