Why You Rarely See Brick Buildings in California

First-time visitors to California often notice that there are very few brick-faced buildings. If you watch the video above, taken outside a building that was apparently under construction in Virginia presumably quite close to the epicenter of the 5.8 earthquake that occurred there today, the reason for this will become instantly clear.

Building codes in earthquake country discourage the use of masonry facings, including East Coast style brick and stone-facings, because, during quakes the bricks or stones shake loose and fall on your car or, worse, your head.

Stucco is the preferred facing because it tends to hold together in the shaking, or if it shakes off, it falls in big sheets that are less dangerous than the raining down of dozens of bricks or stones.