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No code enforcement in Alaska

FourForHome | Posted in Building Code Questions on

This is not so much a question as a statement – building codes exist for a reason.

Eagle River, AK – 10 miles from Anchorage, experienced the most earthquake damage. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2018/12/05/why-did-damage-vary-in-alaskas-70-quake-soil-shaking-construction-quality-may-all-be-factors/

Eagle River voted to not be subject to the same building codes as in Anchorage: https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/12/04/heres-why-some-structures-fell-in-the-alaska-earthquake-and-others-didnt-and-how-we-decided-that/

Photos 2, 6 and 15 are of one house that broke apart. https://www.adn.com/visual/photos/2018/12/02/photos-second-day-of-dealing-with-earthquake-aftermath/

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Replies

  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Mark,
    I agree that building codes exist for a reason. But I'm fairly sure that the photos you linked to are insufficient evidence that code violations contributed to the damage suffered by the homes in the photos.

  2. JackofAllTrades777 | | #2

    According to the article. That house was built on fill. Homes built on fill are not as stable as those built on native untouched soil. Fill needs to be heavily compacted, watered, vibrated and even then, it's still not as good as undisturbed soil. Most footings require being poured on undisturbed soil.

  3. walta100 | | #3

    I think the fact that no fatality has been attributed to this earthquake is strong evidence that the codes were mostly followed. The AK governor has been quoted praising the code for this.

    Just because no government inspector is looking over someone’s shoulder does not mean most people will not do their job correctly.

    I do not believe code complaint home, is a guarantee of no damage from a 7.0 quake. If the earth under any home happens to move several feet in opposite directions it is bound to collapse.

    https://www.curbed.com/2018/12/3/18124154/alaska-earthquake-anchorage-building-codes

    Walta

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