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Unreinforced Masonry Buildings: A Hidden Danger

Posted by WSRB on July 23, 2014

Did you know that almost 1,000 buildings in Seattle are constructed of unreinforced masonry (URM)? At first glance this sounds like a large number of buildings and a random fact, but once we understand the seismic dangers of unreinforced masonry this statistic suddenly becomes pretty frightening.

About 929 buildings in the Pioneer Square neighborhood and all around Seattle are unreinforced, and only about 15% of those buildings have had the necessary seismic upgrades to make them earthquake safe. So what’s the big deal?

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Topics: Building Construction, GIS Mapping, Seattle, URM, Hazards