The new regulations introduce a resilience approach to seismic performance of nonstructural systems, coupling bracing in patient critical areas with the introduction of a post-earthquake Operational Plan. In California, the Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development (OSHPD) regulates non-structural seismic performance through the use of NPC (non-structural performance category) ratings. This month, OSHPD introduced Express Terms for NPC 4D which will become part of the 2019 California Building Code after a period of public comment.
In short the new rating reduces specific anchorage/bracing requirements for critical care areas of the hospital environment for NPC-3 compliance and provides a multi-tiered level of compliance system for other approximately 75% non-critical care areas. This allows owners to define and prioritize seismic bracing programs with key departments over time. The new rating has reporting, submittal, and permit milestone requirements in years 2024, 2026, and 2028.
What does this mean for your hospital or healthcare system?
Like all seismic compliance regulations, each healthcare facility will need to evaluate the new NPC 4D category for potential benefit to its overall seismic compliance program. Facilities may use the NPC 4D rating as a way to integrate non-structural bracing work into planned remodels to meet their desired compliance status.
“The new rating gives hospital facilities more options to focus their seismic bracing work on key departments in the near term, “ said Jorn Halle, Allied Member, Healthcare Practice Area Leader. “Money can now go to the areas in need of the most renewal. Seismic bracing does not have to be the driving force for modernization work.”
Need to know more?
Review an OSHPD presentation to the Hospital Building Seismic Board at, https://www.oshpd.ca.gov/Boards//HBSB/Meetings/20180222-meeting/NPCRequirementsRevisited-Presentation.pdf
This article was originally published in the Degenkolb eblast. Check out Degenkolb Engineer’s website at degenkolb.com.