We send our kids there every day so they can learn, excel, explore their interests, discover their fortes, and become prepared intellectually for life in adulthood. So, for most of us, it’s probably a given that the school buildings we send our children to for the day are structurally sound. Yet, with the passage of time and continual research, discoveries are made about what happens to buildings in earthquakes and how we can predict their performance. Viewed from the vantage point of these new discoveries, some older school buildings simply don’t measure up. It is at this point that structural engineers are called in to evaluate and improve the structural integrity of school facilities.
Since its inception, ZFA has been working in tandem with the Division of the State Architect (DSA) to improve the structural safety of our schools. ZFA was awarded in 2010 the only DSA contract for the seismic evaluation of Northern California’s most vulnerable schools. Under this contract, ZFA developed state of the art evaluation criteria for use in screening schools in high seismic regions, making the best use of limited public funds to identify the most critical facilities requiring seismic upgrade.
Our immeasurable passion for and commitment to building safe schools require that we stay abreast of the latest technological advances. To that end, many of our engineers serve on the committees that research, establish, and write the new codes by which school buildings are improved.
One of our principals personally initiated and updated Chapter 2 of the ASCE/SEI 41 and was one of only four engineers nationwide to be chosen to develop and write the updates to Chapter 6. He is on the ASCE/SEI 41 Update and ACI 369 Committees. Another principal at ZFA has devoted nearly her entire 25-year career to the structural design of schools. To date, she has designed and/or evaluated more than 300 schools.
ZFA has decades of experience performing seismic evaluations and modernizations of public schools and is always at the ready to provide its services for this important work.