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Seismic Mandates: Will Hospitals 
Be Ready by 2030?

Written By Burgeonstar
If the state of California has anything to do with it, by 2030 hospitals will be the safest places to be if an earthquake occurs, and people will still be able to receive services. Not only will hospitals be open for business but all their systems, including water supplies and equipment, will be able to support the need for at least 72 hours after an earthquake. This obviously instills a sense of security and peace-of-mind, but will all hospitals be able to meet the deadlines?
While California has an opportunity to set a great example for the construction industry around the world, mandates to ensure seismic regulations can pose extreme challenges. Safety and peace of mind come with a price, and anything less comes with a price as well.
What started all this?
Like with many mandates, tragedy spurs those who govern to address issues and introduce possible solutions to avoid future suffering. On January 17, 1994 a 6.7 earthquake was centered in Northridge, CA, a city in the Los Angeles area. There were 12 hospital buildings that had to be evacuated due to severe structural damage. This inspired lawmakers to bolster the seismic safety standards for hospitals.
With 2030 fast approaching, some hospitals are on pace to meet the deadline, but many will struggle to do so. According to, as of January 2023, two-thirds of California hospitals have not yet met the requirement to have hospital buildings updated to ensure they will be operational after an earthquake.
Originally, the deadline of 2008 was given for the first phase of the mandate that required hospitals be upgraded or replaced to ensure structural safety. Those that don’t comply will be forced to stop operating. That deadline was extended to 2025. Now, the second deadline of 2030, to also be operational after an earthquake seems to be closing in.
The main reason hospitals are unable to comply, request extensions, or are not moving as quickly as needed comes down to severe financial impact. The RAND Corporation in 2019 reported estimates for construction to be $34 billion for retrofits and $143 billion to build new, which would likely be higher considering today’s rates. Large profitable hospitals are hitting their marks, and others are struggling. It’s been reported that about 62% of hospitals have at least one building that has yet to meet the 2030 structural standards.
Perhaps the point to be taken here is that hospitals are making efforts to comply, and their progress is being monitored. The 2030 deadline may be extended. It does give some measure of peace of mind knowing that the efforts to make hospitals structurally safe and operational after an earthquake are being made. This is progress.
If you are interested in exploring construction and real estate investment opportunities with Alsaady Holding, then please contact us at 888-909-0535 for further information on how we can drive growth and build futures together.
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