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You are here: Home » News » Partner Seismic Team Responds to Napa Quake

January 1, 2014

Partner Seismic Team Responds to Napa Quake

By Partner ESI

Partner’s Bay Area seismic & structural engineering team was jolted into high gear by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Napa County over the weekend. The team has been out in the communities evaluating the damage and working with the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the California Earthquake Clearinghouse as researchers. “This is our backyard, and we have a unique opportunity to help out,” notes Partner’s Director of Structural Engineering, Josh Marrow, PE. “This event will cost the Napa Valley region a huge amount in damages, and our thoughts are with those that have suffered loss or injury.”

In addition to assessing damage to commercial and multifamily buildings, the team is conducting post-earthquake studies of the famed Napa wineries and wine production facilities, which were particularly hard hit. Marrow has studied the effects of earthquakes on wineries and wine production facilities since 1997 – read more about this non-profit research here.

If you have assets in or near Napa County:

If you are concerned about the structural integrity of your commercial or multifamily property, Partner’s team can help with a post-earthquake reconnaissance to evaluate potential damage, some of which may not be evident to an untrained eye, or to evaluate what type of repairs or retrofits may be needed. Especially vulnerable building types may include:

  • Unreinforced masonry
  • Concrete masonry unit (CMU) bearing walls
  • Concrete tilt up
  • Those with a “soft story” or tuck under parking (click for definition)
  • Wood framed buildings on unbraced cripple walls
  • Wood framed buildings without anchorage to foundation
  • Concrete moment-resisting frame
  • Sites with significant liquefaction potential (e.g., low-lying areas along bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, etc) unless provided with deep foundations (piles or piers)

If you have winery facilities in the area:

This seismic event provides a timely opportunity to better understand and prepare for earthquake risk at wineries, wine production and storage facilities. The research team is looking to evaluate both facilities that sustained damage, as well as those that did not. “There is value from an engineering perspective to observe both conditions,” said Marrow. Observations will be kept confidential as requested.


Please reach out to our Structural Engineering Group in our San Francisco office if you would like assistance with your facility, or to participate in the post-earthquake winery study.

111 Pine Street, Suite 1750, San Francisco, CA 94111
T: (800) 419-4923
[email protected]

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