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Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

Retrofiting brick buildings to meet current codes can protect public safety, preserve historical buildings, and help Seattle recover faster after an earthquake.

Public Comment

Our policy committee meetings are open to the public and we would like to hear your thoughts on the proposed legislation. You can attend future meetings or write us at: You can also stay informed on our progress by adding your email to our listserv (located in the grey box to the right on this page) to receive periodic updates.

URM Policy Committee

The URM Policy Committee met to address these issues:

  • Threshold for retrofit requirement
  • When retrofit would be required
  • Timeline for compliance
  • Penalty or actions for noncompliance
  • Incentive options
  • How retrofits can be financed

Meeting Materials:

Summary of Public Comment


For questions about the 2012 or 2009 URM Policy Committee meetings, please contact:

Sandy Howard
URM Retrofit Policy Project Manager
(206) 233-7194

Technical Committee

The URM Technical Committee made recommendations for:

  • The appropriate definition of “unreinforced masonry building”
  • Technical aspects of the mandatory retrofit program, including
    • The standard to which URM retrofits must comply
    • The size, location, and type of earthquake to be considered in developing the standard
    • Building elements to be addressed
    • Considerations for previously-retrofitted buildings; how to assess a building retrofitted to an earlier standard

The committee finished their work in 2010 and a final report is available with the proposed retrofit standard.

Meeting Materials:

Meetings & Events


 Ask Us

Sandy Howard
Sustainability Strategist
(206) 233-7194

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