The town of Woodside will be engaging a structural engineer to analyze Town Hall and Independence Hall for resistance to damage by earthquakes.
The Town Council asked Town Manager Kevin Bryant for the analysis at its Sept. 26 meeting after discussing a recent story in the Almanac describing a commercially prepared map of the Woodside Fire Protection District showing the district after a simulated magnitude 7 earthquake along the Hayward fault in the East Bay.
The map showed two areas where buildings might lean, partially or totally collapse, or slide off their foundations: Canada College and the area near the corner of Woodside and Whiskey Hill roads – the location of the town's governmental complex.
The rest of the fire district – which includes Woodside, Portola Valley and nearby unincorporated areas such as Ladera and Emerald Hills – is shown as experiencing "moderate to extensive damage" such as fallen chimneys, plaster and false ceilings.
The map was the work of a Palo Alto software company, One Concern, that uses an algorithm and big data, including seismic and building construction data, to create maps showing potential damage to structures from earthquakes in real time and before a quake happens, based on simulations that include a given quake's magnitude and epicenter.
The fire district and the towns of Woodside and Portola Valley are in the first year of a three-year $50,000 license agreement with One Concern for mapping and analysis services.
Woodside Town Hall was dedicated in 1990, and Independence Hall dates from 1884. It was moved to its current site in 1991.
The structural analysis for Town Hall will compare building codes from 1990 with those of today and advise if additional work is needed, Mr. Bryant said.