The Golden Gate Bridge

HOW WE PROTECT Your Property and Life

Structural Engineers are the prime source of knowledge and practical information about how to design and construct earthquake-resistant buildings, bridges and other infrastructure Without them our lives and livelihoods would be in greater jeopardy, especially those of us who live in Earthquake Country. (See Earthquakes Happen under WHY SOME BUILDINGS FAIL - When Most of Them Don't)


Inspecting steel roof framing is just one
task Structural Engineers perform as part
of a building’s seismic risk assessment.
Structural Engineers are also the first line of defense in strengthening existing houses, offices, and other buildings and how to make them better able to resist earthquake forces.

In this section, you will read about how Structural Engineers study earthquakes, in order to understand their impact on buildings, and how they subsequently develop codes and standards to ensure safer structures. You will also find information about some historical buildings in the Bay Area as examples of the work Structural Engineers do to preserve our heritage. There is also a section on newer buildings to show how Structural Engineers take data from each new quake to make decisions and designs for the future.

The importance of our infrastructure cannot be overstated so you will have a chance to read about how Structural Engineers aid in delivering our most vital services on a continual basis.

Studying Earthquakes, Saving Lives
In 1952 Henry Degenkolb, one of the major figures in Structural Engineering had been designing buildings for more than 15 years to withstand earthquakes but had never seen one...

Developing Codes and Standards for Safer Structures
In designing office towers, bridges, apartment blocks, single-family residences, and other edifices to withstand an earthquake, Structural Engineers believe that the best offense is a good defense...

Retrofitting Historic Buildings
Structural Engineers frequently retrofit historic buildings, such as the Oakland City Hall and UC Berkeley buildings, making them safe for people to enjoy for many years...

Designing New Buildings
Here you will read stories of Structural Engineers who helped design and construct important new buildings in the Bay Area, such as the Transamerica Building, the DeYoung Museum, and Pixar Studios...

Building Safe Infrastructure
You may take transportation, water, gas and liquid fuels for granted, but when they are interrupted after an earthquake, it makes for difficult rescue and recovery efforts. Structural Engineers design new bridges and retrofit existing tunnels...

Creating Innovative Technology
Here is a look at some of the innovative technology that Structural Engineers develop and use to help structures resist earthquakes. A base-isolated structure is supported by isolation elements generally bearings or sliders that are typically placed...