Seismic Compliance and Safety

Program Overview

Senate Bill 1953 (SB 1953) was introduced on February 25, 1994. It was signed into law on September 21, 1994 and filed by the Secretary of State on September 22, 1994. The bill was an amendment to and furtherance of the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Seismic Safety Act of 1983 (Alquist Act). SB 1953 (Chapter 740, 1994), is now chaptered into statute in Sections 130000 through 130070 of the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act, and part of the California Health and Safety Code. The regulations developed as a result of this statute are deemed to be emergency regulations and became effective upon approval by the California Building Standards Commission and filing with the Secretary of State on March 18, 1998. See an overview of the SB1953 Program.

The HCAI Office of Statewide Hospital Planning and Development (OSHPD) formed the Seismic Compliance Unit (SCU) after the passage of Senate Bill 1953 (SB 1953). This Unit is comprised of structural engineers and senior architects responsible for review and approval of the following submittals to OSHPD:

How to Apply for a Seismic Compliance Unit (SCU) Project

Do not create a project in eSP. Please click on the button below to read about the application process.

Structural Performance Category (SPC) Ratings

All general acute care hospital buildings are assigned a structural performance category (SPC). SPC ratings range from 1 to 5 with SPC-1 assigned to buildings that may be at risk of collapse during a strong earthquake and SPC 5 assigned to buildings reasonably capable of providing services to the public following a strong earthquake. State law requires all SPC-1 buildings to be removed from providing general acute care services by 2020 and all SPC-2 buildings to be removed from providing general acute care services by 2030.  Therefore, a hospital facility that may be comprised of a number of hospital buildings meets the 2020 requirements if there are no SPC 1 buildings on campus.  A hospital facility meets the 2030 requirements if all the buildings on campus are either SPC 3, 4 or 5.

On a desktop computer, hovering mouse pointer on the bars shows location of the SPC buildings on a map, hovering mouse pointer on dots on the map shows numbers of SPC rated buildings at that location.

Changes to Seismic Safety Law

Senate Bill 395 (SB 395)

Provides grant funding to advance compliance with state seismic safety requirements

Assembly Bill 2190 (AB 2190)

Provides for extensions to the January 1, 2020 seismic compliance deadline

Senate Bill 90 (SB 90)

Provides for extensions to the January 1, 2013 seismic compliance deadline

Senate Bill 306 (SB 306)

Amends Section 130061.5 of the Health and Safety Code

Senate Bill 499 (SB 499)

Amends Sections 130060 and 130061, and added Section 130022 to the Health and Safety Code

Senate Bill 1661 (SB 1661)

Amends Section 130060 and 130061 of the Health and Safety Code

Other Legislative Changes

Seismic compliance for hospital buildings

Program Functions

Seismic Compliance


NPC-5 Water Rationing Plan for General Acute Care Hospital Facilities

SB1953 Regulations

Code Application Notice (CANs)

  • CAN 1-6- – Removal of Acute Care Services (CAN 1.6- has been replaced by 2019 California Existing Building Code, Section 309A)
  • CAN 1-11.1 – Non-Structural Performance Categories

Policy Intent Notice (PINs)

  • PIN 13 – Lighting System Retrofit
  • PIN 32 – NPC-2 Seismic Bracing Upgrades (SB 1953)
  • PIN 45 – converting a Senate Bill 1661 Project to a Senate Bill 499 Project
  • PIN 52 – Requests for Seismic Compliance Extension Under SB 90
  • PIN 53 – Requests for Seismic Compliance Extension Under SB 499 and SB 1661
  • PIN 71 – Compliance Plan Requirements for Participants in the Small and Rural Hospital Relief Program

Ground Motion Maps

Resources, Contacts, and FAQs

For questions or comments related to the Seismic Compliance Program, please eMail the Seismic Compliance Unit.

For Special Seismic Certification of equipment, See Preapproval Programs
The Seismic Compliance Unit does not process Special Seismic Certification Preapprovals.

*For submittal of projects that involves construction, use the eServices Portal.