Residential Earthquake Retrofits
Serving the greater San Francisco Bay Area
Contact Information
thor "at" shearwalls.com
(510) 230-8601
Site News - January/February 2013
Jan. 31--Thor Matteson presents seminar on basic principles of earthquake retrofits to volunteers for Rebuilding Together San Francisco (RTSF). RTSF ran a pilot program to retrofit several houses in San Francisco.

February 2nd & 9th: Volunteers installed retrofit components in three San Francisco houses--three down, 200,000 to go!

This program is still in the trial stages; planning is underway for RTSF to strengthen five more houses in July 2013.

Site News - November 19, 2012
CBS Channel 5 (KPIX, San Francisco) runs a story on improperly installed residential earthquake retrofits, with comments from Mr. Matteson. In response to expected curiosity from the public, Mr. Matteson and home consultant Paul Rude co-wrote a 30-page document on earthquake retrofit principles, available as a free PDF download at www.quakecheck.org .
Site News - September, 2012
The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) holds a joint workshop with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop earthquake retrofit guidelines that apply to a wider variety of houses than the current International Existing Building Code does. Mr. Matteson submitted over 20 topics for suggested further research.
Site News - August 2012
Second Edition of Wood Framed Shear Wall Construction--an Illustrated Guide wins an Award of Merit in the "Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards" from the Structural Engineers Association of California--this is at the California state level, competing against the likes of a team of engineers who wrote a 400-page document for FEMA.
Site News - June 2012
Second Edition of Wood Framed Shear Wall Construction--an Illustrated Guide wins an Award of Merit in the "Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards" from the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (regional competition).
Site News - 12/29/2011
Thor submits code change proposal to the International Code Council to revise typical fastening requirements for floor framing connections. Existing requirements allow construction in new homes that immediately needs earthquake retrofit work under FEMA and other guidelines.
Site News - November-December 2011
Thor initiated a code change proposal through the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) to address glitch noted on 10/26/11. NCSEA code subcommittee discusses problem, agrees to support code change proposal for 2015 edition of the building code.
Site News - 10/26/2011
An alert earthquake-retrofit specialty contractor points out a glitch in the conventional framing requirements for wood construction that apparently went unnoticed since 1994. Shearwalls.com has contacted code officials to suggest changes to address the problem. Stay tuned...
Site News - 10/24/2011
The second edition of "Wood-Framed Shear Wall Construction--an Illustrated Guide" has been released in full color by the International Code Council. Updated to the most recent building codes, it also features a new chapter on residential earthquake retrofitting. Order from the publisher as Item #4020S09. 180 pages, over 150 photos, illustrations, and diagrams.
Site News - 9/15/2011
See Thor's article on earthquake retrofits in the current issue of Fine Homebuilding magazine (#222)