Does Your Manufactured Home have Earthquake Bracing?

Woman hands covering a model house with bubble wrap

California, specifically the Bay Area, felt quite a rumble in January. The New Year started with a 4.4 magnitude in Berkeley along the Hayward Fault, which lasted about 10 seconds. An estimated 9.8 million people in the Bay Area felt the aftershocks of the quake, leaving them to question whether they are ready for when the “big” earthquake hits California.

The quake was a reminder that there is a one-in-three chance that a 6.7 or greater earthquake will hit the Bay Area in the next 30 years, according to the United States Geological Survey.

While the state of California’s Residential Mitigation Program offered grants of up to $3,000 for seismic retrofits of older homes, one of the most asked questions regarding manufactured homes are whether they are safe from earthquakes.

“Manufactured homes fair very well during earthquakes,” said Ara Sarkisian, a partner in Alliance Manufactured Homes. “They are built with a high percentage of shear walls, which offers great structural support during any shaking or rattling from an earthquake.”

Compared to on-site built homes, manufactured homes are lighter in general, an advantage in the context of earthquake ground motion, as seismic forces are proportional to the weight of architectural structures. These factory-built homes are built to resist the severe forces and shaking when transported on a permanent chassis from factory to site. The seismic performance of manufactured homes depends largely on the condition of the foundation and particularly on the connections between the home and the foundation, in accordance with Arash Nasseri, Ph.D. and Ehsan Kianirad, Ph.D. of ‎AIR Worldwide.

With Pier Approval by the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development, manufactured homes are installed onto a series of steel support piers, one of the most used earthquake restraint bracing systems (ERBS).

piers1

Figure 1. A display model of a manufactured home supported by multiple standard piers.

The piers offer structural foundation and seismic bracing for any lateral forces caused by earthquakes. It is also important to secure the piers to their footings and main beams of the home, as shown below (Fig 2). These connections will prevent the home from jumping off the pier or footing during an earthquake.

piers

Figure 2. Secure piers to their footings and to the main beams of the home.

Alliance Manufactured Homes Installations has installed 75% of the new manufactured homes in the Greater Bay Area, accredited with over 5,000 new home installations. They are now offering earthquake bracing for any size home at the low flat rate of $1,995.

For more information on the safety of our manufactured homes, call (888) 874-8692 to speak with an agent today!

 

Cabanatuan, Michael et al. No damage reported as 4.4 Berkeley quake rocks Bay Area. SFGate. 4 Jan 2018. Web. 26 Jan 2018. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/No-damage-reported-as-4-4-Berkeley-quake-rocks-12472837.php.
Lin II, Rong-Gong and Serna, Joseph. Bay Area earthquake rattled 9.8 million people — and offers a preview of something much worse. LA Times. 4 Jan 2018. Web. 26 Jan 2018. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-earthquake-bay-area-20180104-story.html.
Lochner, Tom. Here are the Bay Area communities eligible for state earthquake retrofit grants. East Bay Times. 23 Jan 2018. Web. 26 Jan 2018. http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/01/23/homeowners-in-several-east-bay-communities-eligible-for-state-earthquake-retrofit-grants.
Minimizing damage and repair costs to manufactured homes during an earthquake. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Web. 26 Jan 2018. http://www.huduser.gov/publications/pdf/pdrbrch.pdf.
Nasseri, Arash and Kianirad, Ehsan. Understanding the Seismic Vulnerability of Manufactured Homes. AIR Worldwide. 23 Oct 2017. Web. 26 Jan 2018. http://www.air-worldwide.com/Publications/AIR-Currents/2017/Understanding-the-Seismic-Vulnerability-of-Manufactured-Homes.
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How Safe are Manufactured Homes?

house in human hands

One of the most asked questions we come across is, “Are Manufactured Homes safe?” As with any home purchase safety is the most important factor. In some cases, Manufactured Homes are much safer than site built homes.

Here are helpful facts about Manufactured Home safety that may enlighten you in your decision when looking for a home.

  • Manufactured Homes are constructed on a non-permanent foundation whereas site built homes are on a permanent foundation.
  • Manufactured Homes are installed onto a series of steel support piers. These piers offer structural foundation support as well as seismic support for any lateral forces caused by earthquakes.
  • Each new home is equipped with 2 x 4 and 2 x 6 exterior studs and a high percentage of shear walls to exceed the required strength parameters. This ensures the structural support during any shaking or rattling from an earthquake.
  • The homes are built to the HUD code. This code regulates the design, construction, structural durability, transportability, fire resistance, and energy efficiency of a home. It also prescribes performance standards for the mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems.
  • Manufactured Homes are inspected frequently at the assembly plant during each phase of construction. In-plant inspectors, as well as independent agencies inspect your home on behalf of the federal, state, and local governments for code compliance. Evidence of this inspection can be seen through the federal, state, or inspection agency label of approval.
  • Manufactured Homes are built and shipped on a permanent chassis and can withstand harsh winds on the freeway.
  • Manufactured Home communities are required by the state of California to have evacuation procedures for their residents.

For more information on the safety of our homes call (888) 874-8692 to speak with an agent today!