Building Occupancy Resumption Program
The Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP) helps your business resume operations quickly following a major disaster.
Participating in the Building Occupancy Resumption Program will reduce your business inspection delays in the event of a major disaster, such as an earthquake, by enabling owners of private buildings to hire licensed engineers to create post-disaster inspection plans for their buildings. This program works for residential, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use buildings.
In the event of an emergency declaration, approved engineers will be temporarily deputized as City inspectors. They will post official City of Berkeley placards on approved buildings for continued occupancy (green placard), partial or conditional occupancy (yellow placard), or unsafe to enter (red placard). Placards will then be reviewed by the Building and Safety Division.
Getting my building on the Building Occupancy Resumption Program list
Building owners or their authorized representatives may request participation in this program at any time, except during the aftermath of a disaster resulting in a declared state of emergency.
Building owners who wish to participate in the program should take the following steps with additional information to be found in the BORP Manual:
- Select emergency inspection team.
- Obtain building plans.
- Write inspection plan.
- Develop building information and inspector response requirements; provide location of equipment and drawings.
- Prepare precertification documentation.
- Submit written building emergency inspection program, including inspection plan.
- Obtain and store emergency safety and inspection equipment/supplies.
- Update inspection plan, supplies, personnel changes, and training as necessary.
- Submit BORP Renewal Application every other year before the anniversary of the initial approval date.
Every other year, you will need to complete and submit a one-page renewal form listing any changes in the building or inspectors made over the past two years. Documents are reviewed by staff and members of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) Disaster Emergency Services BORP subcommittee.
You will receive a package including completed forms, emergency inspector qualifications, complete building information, and a written emergency inspection plan consistent with ATC 20 Procedures for Post-earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings, including Detailed Evaluation Procedures.
Cost of BORP
The Building and Safety Division charges a review fee of $200/hour. It is anticipated it will take 2-6 hours to review Building Occupancy Resumption Program submissions, depending on the size and complexity of the building.
Costs vary based on the size and complexity of the building, familiarity of the selected inspectors with the structural system, and the extent of preparation required to complete the written inspection program.
Building Occupancy Resumption Program vs. free city inspections
The Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP) inspections occur as soon as the preapproved engineer is able to visit the site. Only engineers preapproved for BORP-listed buildings may post buildings with official City placards before mutual aid arrives.
The free inspections performed by the City and mutual aid volunteer inspectors usually occur 3-10 days after an earthquake and are rapid safety evaluations. If you don't need to restore occupancy or operations for several days following a disaster, BORP may not be for you.
Engineer availability after a disaster
If you need a structural evaluation of your building, you may have to wait many weeks for an engineer to become available due to the limited number of local licensed engineers and their prior arrangements or other commitments.
If you don't know a civil or structural engineer experienced in the design of buildings similar in size and complexity to yours, contact the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC), which maintains a list of licensed engineers interested in providing post-disaster inspection plans.
Contact Jenny McNulty in the Building and Safety Division for general questions at (510) 981-7451 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical questions, contact Jesse Bright at (510) 981-7523 or email@example.com.