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Building and Safety Division
Building and Safety Division

  

Earthquake Brace and Bolt   

 

 NEW: Registration for the year 2017 program is Jan 25 – Feb 27, 2017 NEW: Registration for the year 2017 program is Jan 25 – Feb 27, 2017

Berkeley residents are eligible for rebates of up to $3,000 from California’s Residential Mitigation Program for making seismic improvements to their homes. Property owners must register for the Earthquake Brace and Bolt (EBB) program, either online at www.earthquakebracebolt.com or by calling (877) 232-4300, during the month-long registration period Jan 25 – Feb 27, 2017. Qualifying homes will be entered into a lottery for the funding and notified of their status (approved, waitlisted, or denied) by EBB.

If selected for the EBB program, homeowners should review the full Program Rules. In order to qualify for the rebate, owners must obtain a building permit from the City of Berkeley within eight weeks and the seismic work performed must be in accordance with Chapter A3 of the California Building Code. For houses with cripple walls that are 4 feet or less, Plan Set A (see Plan A and Detailed Inspection Guidelines) may be used; houses with taller cripple walls will need an engineered solution that complies with Chapter A3.  

EBB participants must indicate that they are doing “seismic retrofit work in accordance with Chapter A3 for the Earthquake Brace and Bolt program” in the scope of work on their City of Berkeley building permit application. Plan sets may be submitted in electronic format for review and permitting; please see this information on electronic plan review.   

Once the City of Berkeley permit is obtained, participants must upload their permit along with pre-retrofit photos of their crawl space and outside of their house to the EBB online Homeowner Dashboard. When the permit and pre-retrofit photos are uploaded and approved by EBB, retrofit activities may begin. Additional documentation, photos, contractor invoice, and the finalized permit will be required by EBB on completion of the retrofit. Once all documentation has been received and approved, EBB will issue a check for the cost of the retrofit (up to a maximum of $3,000) in 2-3 weeks.   

The EBB program provides incentives to homes most vulnerable to severe damage in an earthquake, typically those built before 1979 with raised foundations and unbraced “cripple walls,” the walls which surround the crawl space. Bracing the cripple walls with plywood and using anchor bolts to improve the connection between a home’s wood framing and its foundation are seismic improvements that can help minimize potential damage to a home during an earthquake.     

The EBB program supplements other programs to subsidize seismic improvements in Berkeley; these programs can be used in combination or separately. Berkeley residential property owners may file for a refund of their transfer tax for seismic work for retrofits completed within a year of property purchase. Property owners are also eligible for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. PACE allows owners to borrow money for seismic improvements with no upfront costs and payback over time on their property bills. 

   

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Building and Safety Division, 1947 Center St, 3rd Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: buildingandsafety@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7440
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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