Seismic retrofit rendering

Seismic Safety

Current Improvement Projects

Rendering of Jungerman Hall seismic work.

Six buildings on the Davis campus are currently scheduled for active seismic improvement projects. Learn more

About UC Davis Seismic Safety

UC Davis has been proactive in completing seismic improvement work as part of its capital improvements program over the past 25 years. 

Image of seismic work on the Chemistry Building at UC Davis.

Bring in the Reinforcements!

Learn more about all the seismic improvement projects taking place throughout campus in this feature story about this large-scale program to retrofit our buildings.

Gain insight into seismic safety

Seismic Policy

University of California’s first seismic safety policy was issued in January 1975. The current policy is dated May 2017. The purpose of the policy is to provide an acceptable level of earthquake safety for students, employees, and the public who occupy university facilities located in California. Updates are being considered as UC goes through a renewed program effort.

In June 2018, UC required all university facilities to have current seismic ratings with buildings requiring seismic improvement work completed or unoccupied by December 31, 2030. Buildings were divided into multiple groups to best tackle this large amount of evaluation work, with all ratings due by July 2020.   

For leased facilities, prior to entering into a new lease or renewing an existing lease, an acceptable seismic rating is required or a seismic improvement completed within 2 years under certain conditions.

    Seismic Building Evaluations, Completed and In-Progress Projects

    All buildings were evaluated following the current UC seismic policy guidelines.



    Sq. Ft.

    UC Davis
    (including UC Davis Health and satellite sites (Bodega Bay, Tahoe, Tulare, etc.)



    Davis campus + satellite sites



    UC Davis Health



    Seismic Rating Key

    Following industry standard methods, our buildings are evaluated using either a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Form 154 or American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Tier 1 study and assigned a Roman numeral rating.

    • III :  Generally a new building
    • IV: Acceptable
    • V or VI: May require further study or seismic improvement work

    All 1,186 building have been evaluated. Below is a breakdown of the findings. (Please find the rating key above.) Please note that all university-owned housing units have seismically acceptable ratings.

    • 12 buildings were rated VI and currently have seismic improvement projects pending or in-process within the Design & Construction Management Capital Project Program: 
    • 405 buildings are seismically acceptable
    • 478 buildings are exempt. These are small, one-story structures of very low risk.
    • 138 of these buildings were recently demolished or are scheduled for demolition over the next 2 years. 
    • 122 buildings are rated V. These buildings require further study or seismic improvement. 
    • 28 buildings are rated VI. These buildings require further study or seismic improvement.
    • 3 buildings rated VII have been vacated. (These three are barns on west campus.)

    Completed seismic improvement projects include: 

    • Walker Hall
    • Yosemite Hall (previously Webster Hall)
    • PSE Library
    • The Silo
    • Tercero 3 and 4 Housing
    • Tercero Community/Dining
    • Hart Hall 
    • North and South Halls
    • Memorial Union
    • Kerr Hall
    • Academic Surge
    • Bainer Hall 
    • John Muir Institute
    • Heitman Learning Center
    • Rock Hall
    • Olson Hall
    • Briggs Hall
    • Bainer Hall
    • Robbins Hall 
    • Telecommunications
    • Veterinary Medicine 2
    • Segundo Housing Complex
    • Segundo Dining Commons

    Building Code

    Although the building code is updated and issued every 3 years, buildings are compliant to the code for the year of their design.  However, based on code requirements a major renovation can trigger the need for seismic improvements.