1950 University Avenue

Berkeley, CA



  This downtown Berkeley building is a long, narrow, two-story structure with concrete masonry walls and wood-framed roof and second floor. Toward the rear of the building, it steps down a full level. There are adjacent buildings along the two sides. 

   The building was originally braced by non-ductile steel frames in the short direction, and by the property line concrete masonry walls in the long direction. An evaluation of the building revealed that the steel frames did not have adequate strength or stiffness to brace the building in the short direction. Ties between the concrete masonry walls and wood framing were minimal as well. 

   A seismic retrofit was done that added new concrete masonry shear walls in the short direction, collectors and wall ties, and a new stairwell and shear wall at the rear of the building. The new shear walls help the steel frames from becoming overstressed in a seismic event. Numerous architectural and accessibility improvements were also made. 


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