In 1993, International House began a major ten-year building renovation program to address the deterioration and serious safety concerns of our nearly 70-year-old facility, located within 50 feet of the Hayward Fault.

With our close proximity to the fault, the most critical work to be completed as soon as possible is the seismic renovation of resident rooms which ALL have hollow clay tile walls. These must be encapsulated and anchored to the structure. The strengthening of the four walls within these rooms and anchoring them to the structure is designed to minimize the chances of collapse and to prevent hollow clay tile from penetrating walls in a manner that would endanger resident safety in the event of a major earthquake.

Through July 1998, we completed Phase I and II of the four-phase project. This summer, 114 rooms on the fourth floor will be completed. The remaining 117 rooms on the second and third floors are scheduled for May-June 2000.

Thanks to a highly specialized computer modeling of the House done by alumnus Jawahar Gidwani's engineering firm, ISEC, we have determined that the building could also be significantly enhanced structurally in two key areas. Basically, the structural enhancements involve redirecting weight loads around the open areas created by the Great Hall and the Library. The Board has approved including the structural work around the Great Hall in this summer's planned construction. Plans for the Library are under design review and will be incorporated in future construction.

ISEC, Inc. is an internationally-respected structural engineering firm which specializes in seismic evaluation through three-dimensional computer modeling. Past projects have included the seismic retrofit analysis of the Golden Gate Bridge and failure analysis of offshore oil platforms to evaluate environmental hazards caused by waves, currents, winds, and earthquakes.

We are grateful to Jawahar for his donation of these extraordinary services which will result in a stronger International House building for future generations of residents.


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