We all tend to think our buildings are safe if they have survived these catastrophes.
The reality is the building codes are designed to allow people to escape catastrophic events, not save the building.
Most of Napa’s homes and buildings were built under less-stringent codes and likely could fail in a new calamity unless the builders and architects maintained a higher-than minimum code construction standard.
Architects and engineers are dedicated to making buildings safe while minimizing our carbon footprint with green design and sustainable products.
We often make building improvements that focus on one section but not the whole structure. It would be wise for all us to think of the entire assembly and how to make it more resilient in any event.
When we renovate a portion of a building, we are obligated to bring that area up to current code for electrical, plumbing, and structural.
That would be the opportunity to improve the structural integrity of the entire building or provide more fire-resistant construction on the exterior to maximize fire protection.
These suggestions may seem like tall orders to protect against an unknown future natural calamity. We can all prepare for such events without making a huge fuss, whether you are a business or a homeowner.