Advancing Resilience


Seismic monitoring systems provide data and information on the behavior of buildings leading to improved understanding and better design codes. For these reasons, many municipalities (e.g., City of Los Angeles, CA USA) require seismic instrumentation or offer benefits such as reduced post-event inspection requirements (e.g., BORP San Francisco, CA USA).

In the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, seismic monitoring is required under the 2011 Los Angles Amendment Building Code 91.1613.10; which specifies a minimum of three accelerographs to be deployed at the base, middle, and top of a structure over ten stories or six stories with aggregate floor area of 60,000 square feet or more. The three instruments are usually placed in a vertical stack and interconnected for common triggering and timing.

systems and services

Kinemetrics has been providing building code-based instrumentation since municipalities began enforcement.

In 1970, the SMA-1 was the first film-based strong-motion recorder widely distributed throughout earthquake country for structural monitoring purposes.

Nearly twenty years later, the Etna strong-motion digital Accelerograph replaced the analog film-based SMA-1.

As of 2010, the third generation iCOBI System from Metrozet/EQmet (a wholly owned Kinemetrics subsidiary) is an IP-based central recorder with three digital accelerometers interconnected with inexpensive CAT-5 cabling.


  • Over 100 buildings w/ SMA-based systems

  • Nearly 100 buildings w/ Etna-based systems

  • Many other buildings w/ other types of systems (e.g., iCOBI)

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