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It was in 2016 that the city of Los Angeles had established mandatory standards for its soft-story buildings. There was a large concern about the building throughout the Westside, San Fernando Valley and Hollywood areas. The law that was put into effect will require all buildings with a soft-story to be retrofitted. This means that they are considered at risk of falling during an earthquake and they have to be reinforced. The purpose of this is to help reduce deficiencies and promote safety. Buildings that are not retrofitted can be dangerous during an earthquake. Plus, the building could be completely lost during an earthquake as well. Many contractors specialize in this work.
Building Department officials have looked at the records of the city and even walked the streets to ensure that all the buildings are up to par. If they are at risk of vulnerability when there is shaking, they were given notices. The owners would be given notice and this has raised many concerns within the apartments themselves. Residents are scared and the owners are too.
When the owner receives an order, they will have only two years to get their plans approved. They will either show a retrofit, demolition or if the building does not require a retrofit. The entire process, including construction, will need to be done within seven years of the ordinance. The owners are going to be responsible for the cost of the retrofit. Keep in mind that this can range from 60 to 120 thousand dollars. It is going to be even higher for bigger buildings. The city will allow the costs to go through the tenants. This means that rent could raise up to 38 dollars a month. While the process is being done, the tenants would have to go to another location to ensure safety.
What Buildings Need Retrofitting?
The Building Department has created a list of all the buildings that need to have a retrofit done. This list is over thirteen thousand buildings. The buildings on the list are all vulnerable to structural failure during any major or minor earthquake. These are going to require demolition or retrofit to meet new requirements. The most common source of these older buildings is going to be in LA, West LA, Hollywood, and San Fernando Valley.
This is because most of these buildings were built within the first few years after WWII. This was when populations were growing rapidly in the Los Angeles area. However, the buildings are not going to be able to withstand earthquake activity. They are old and dated. This means buildings that were built between 1950 and 1980 are going to need to undergo a seismic retrofit to meet current standards. This is especially true for buildings near fault lines. Keep in mind that new fault lines are always being discovered.
Any apartment that has been constructed before the 80s is going to be part of the many structures that need a retrofit. The buildings located in West LA and San Fernando Valley are going to be included because they are older buildings and may have been constructed on fault lines.
Earthquake Retrofit Process
This is not a difficult process, however, there are a lot of steps that are involved. The first step is to consult a contractor. You will have to have this contractor help you come up with a plan. This plan will then be approved by LADBS. Once it is approved, you can begin construction. If you are going to have any effect on tenants in the building, they must be notified in advance. Then you will dig trenches and steel beams are going to be used instead of the existing wooden ones. This will help strengthen the building.
Here are Retrofit1 we are one of the leading providers for the process and can help you get your building up to code. We are licensed and work with a team to ensure the process is done properly. We want to make your soft-story retrofit as painless as possible. We are here to give you a free evaluation service. This will be where our specialists will walk through and take a look at your building. We will then outline any necessary information and measures that will need to be taken to upgrade your building. After this evaluation, you will get a proposal that will determine what the cost will be for your design, work, and permits.
We are efficiency-oriented and we are one of the top leaders in the industry. We want to make sure that you are getting the most for your buck and not wasting money. We want to find a cost-effective way to get your project done.
Retrofitting Contractors in LA
There are many different contractors and companies in the area. However, Retrofit1 is the best because we offer many services that other areas do not. We offer a free evaluation and will look for the most cost-effective options for you and your building. We want you to be happy and we don’t want your wallet to suffer either.