Excelsior Branch Facilities Survey

Image of Excelsior Branch LibraryBACKGROUND Year Built: 1967 Architect: Appleton & Wolfard Seismic Hazard Rating 3 Number of Stories One Type: Modern Address: 4400 Mission Street Gross Sq. Ft.: 8,322


The recommended modernization plan is to renovate the existing building while minimizing the risk associated with a major earthquake. The recommended seismic strengthening includes anchoring the roof to the perimeter walls, adding steel bracing between columns and reinforcing existing footings as necessary. Some in-fill walls will be replaced with steel moment frames or concrete walls as necessary. Plywood sheathing will replace existing sheathing at the high and lower roofs. The program also includes glazing replacement. This seismic strengthening work scope directly triggers work associated with disabled access, code improvements, and environmental hazard mitigation.

The building has two separate roof levels. A high vaulted roof consists heavy timber wood joists spanning between glue lam beams which in turn are supported by steel columns. A lower roof over the entry and office areas is supported by a concrete block walls and individual steel columns. The building envelope consists of concrete block walls, infill wood stud walls, and glazing. The steel columns are supported at the crawl space by individual footings.

The disabled access project scope for this library focuses on construction work resulting in path of travel and health and safety improvements. Existing restrooms will be reconfigured and new restrooms will be added. In addition, service counters and online catalog terminals will be made accessible.

Building code impacts involve updating the building to comply with current life safety related code requirements for existing, heating, ventilation, plumbing electrical, lighting and other control systems. The existing heating system will be evaluated for possible replacement or modification.

Current law requires removal of asbestos-containing materials (ACM's)- e.g., plasterboard walls, vinyl flooring, and roofing- related to the anticipated construction activities associated with seismic retrofit, disabled access and renovation work. The removal of ACM's will require relocation of the building occupants to avoid potential health risks. Lead that is impacted will also be removed.

The recommended modernization plan includes the complete renovation and redesign of the interior of the building. New data/electrical outlets on walls and floors throughout the building will be added.

Improvement will be made to interior spaces by rearranging office areas and adding accessible amenities. The lighting and media projection equipment in ceiling will be upgraded in the meeting/program room. Other scope includes interior and exterior painting, an improved heating and ventilating system, and new flooring.



  1. There is inadequate shear transfer from the high roof to the low roof diaphragm.
  2. Existing plywood shear walls do not have hold-downs.
  3. Existing masonry do not have adequate shear capacity for lateral loads.
  4. Existing collectors and chords are inadequate.
  5. Existing plywood shear walls do not have sufficient shear capacity for lateral loads.
  6. Existing masonry walls are not anchored to the horizontal diaphragms.
  7. Existing masonry walls do not have adequate reinforcing at openings.
  8. Existing roofing material consist of straight sheathing rather than diagonal or plywood sheathing.

Non-Structural Deficiencies

  1. Suspended ceilings and ceiling supported lighting are not adequately braced.
  2. Shutoff devices are not provided at building utility interfaced to shut off the flow of gas, high temperature energy, etc., in the event of earthquake induced failure.
  3. Bookshelves and water heater are inadequately braced.


  1. Add ½" plywood sheathing over existing roof deck at high and low roof.
  2. Add new concrete shear wall and footing as indicated.
  3. Add new plywood shear walls.
  4. Anchor RCMU walls to diaphragms.
  5. Add two steel braced frames and new concrete footings.
  6. Add hold-downs at plywood shear wall as indicated.
  7. Add clips, screws, and nails to the tie roof diaphragms to existing and new steel collectors.
  8. Brace ceilings and over public egresses.
  9. Install shut-off devices for high-energy utility lines.
  10. Brace light fixtures, boiler, water heater and free-standing book stacks.


  1. Existing Service counters are not accessible.
  2. Existing toilets are not accessible.


  1. Install new accessible service counters.
  2. Renovate existing toilets to make them accessible and install new toilet fixtures.


  1. Inadequate ventilation.


  1. Evaluate heating and ventilating system for possible replacement or modification.
  2. Provide continuous ventilation in all restrooms during hours of library operation.


  1. The electrical system needs to be upgraded.
  2. Some of the telephone and network equipment needs to be bonded to the grounding electrode.
  3. Lack of data/electrical outlets.


  1. Upgrade the main service panel with surge protector and integral RFI/EMI filtering to protect sensitive loads such as computers and any new electronic equipment in the building.
  2. Segregate power, clean power for computer system and separate power for all others.
  3. Replace all existing light fixtures with new energy saving fixtures including associated wiring.
  4. The telephone and network protectors should be bonded to the incoming water line within 5 feet of its building entry.
  5. Install additional data/communication outlets.


  1. Need fire alarm and smoke detectors.
  2. Not enough Exit signs in the building.
  3. Need emergency lighting at public egresses in case of power failure or in emergencies.
  4. Need additional fire extinguishers in the building.
  5. Not enough security lights in and around the building.
  6. Existing windows and doors need to be upgraded.


  1. Install new smoke detectors and fire alarm.
  2. Install new exit signs and emergency lights in public areas and egresses.
  3. Install new fire extinguishers at strategic locations in the building.
  4. Install new interior and exterior vandal proof security lights.
  5. Install new operable window and door with security grilles.
  6. Install security cameras to monitor isolated areas in and around the building.


  1. Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM’s) are identified throughout the building.


  1. Where impacted by construction, abate asbestos in wall and ceiling sheetrock joint tape and compound, vinyl floor tiles and mastics, ceramic tile grout and mastic, window/door caulking, and black baseboard mastic.
  2. Abate asbestos if found in roofing material, flexible duct joint, and fire door core insulation.
  3. Lead that is impacted by construction shall also be abated.


  1. Need to improve the functionality of the library for patrons and staff.


  1. Redesign the interior spaces for better space use and relationships.
  2. Upgrade the media projection equipment and lighting in the meeting/program/community room.
  3. Replace floor finishes and paint interior and exterior of the building.


  1. Existing trees on the sidewalk and rear garden.


  1. Develop a landscape protection, restoration and maintenance plan.
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