Are you in Compliance?

Several California cities, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Francisco, have passed ordinances mandating seismic retrofitting of soft story and non-ductile concrete buildings, which are especially vulnerable in the event of an earthquake. This ordinance includes wood-frame construction, two-stories or higher, built before January 1st, 1978 with four units or more.

The goal of the mandatory retrofit programs under the ordinance, is to reduce structural deficiencies and improve the performance of these old buildings during earthquakes. Without proper strengthening, these vulnerable buildings may be subjected to structural failure during and/or after an earthquake

As you may remember in 1994, as much as 49,000 apartment buildings were seriously damaged or destroyed during the Northridge Earthquake alone.

or Call 310.400.5903

Mandatory Retrofitting Ordinance

The City of Los Angeles recently passed Ordinance 183893, which requires the retrofit of pre-1978 wood-frame soft-story buildings and non-ductile concrete buildings. The goal of the mandatory retrofit programs, under the ordinance, is to reduce these structural deficiencies and improve the performance of these buildings during earthquakes. Without proper strengthening, these vulnerable buildings may be subjected to structural failure during and/or after an earthquake

Soft-Story Retrofit Program

From past earthquakes, multi-story buildings with weak and/or open front wall lines creating a “soft-story” (i.e. buildings with tuck-under-parking) performed poorly and collapsed. The goal of the mandatory retrofit program, under Ordinance 183893 and Ordinance 184081, is to reduce structural deficiencies by the most economical and feasible method. Without proper strengthening, these vulnerable buildings may be subjected to structural failure during and/or after an earthquake.

Buildings that are most vulnerable have been identified with the following criteria:

  • Consist of 2 or more stories wood frame construction
  • Built under building code standards enacted before January 1, 1978
  • Contains ground floor parking or other similar open floor space

The program does not apply to residential buildings with 3 or less units.

Priority Categories Start date of Sending Out Orders
I. Buildings with 16 or more dwelling units 3-story and above
2-story
May 2, 2016
July 22, 2016
II. Buildings with 3 or more stories with less than 16 units October 17, 2016
III. Buildings not falling within the definition of Priority I or II with 9-15 units
with 7-8 units
with 4-6 units
Condos/Commercial
July 24, 2017
August 21, 2017
September 25, 2017
November 6, 2017

Non-ductile Concrete Retrofit Program

The property owner must comply with the ordinance within the following time limits:

From the receipt of the Order to Comply:

  • 3 years: Submit completed checklist for review to determine if building is a non-ductile concrete building
  • 10 years: Submit proof of previous retrofit, or plans to retrofit or plans to demolish building
  • 25 years: Complete construction

LADBS is currently in the process of identifying the concrete buildings subject to the retrofit ordinance.

Any concrete building, as defined in the retrofit ordinance, and built pursuant to a permit application for a new building that was submitted before January 13, 1977 is subject to the retrofit ordinance whether the building has been identified by LADBS or not.

or Call 310.400.5903