A compulsory retrofit plan for Soft Story Apartments was launched by the City of Los Angeles in May 2016. During an earthquake, these buildings are at risk of falling. The reference below explains whether or not these updates are required by your house.

LADBS Soft-Story Retrofit Program My brother referred me from one of his property management companies in Sherman Oaks to an earthquake reconstruction apartment project in 1994/1995. The design team noticed the need to strip the entire building down to its studs when we began, and then update the whole building seismically and adapt the structure to existing code. This was a big deal for our client. The plan was completed and everyone was very pleased.

Fast forward to 2016 with the City of Los Angeles announcing the requisite upgrade for apartment buildings to Soft Story parking upgrades. Reiss, Brown, Ekmekji, Inc., the original structural engineering company that ran the preliminary figures, found that the new loads were sadly 170 percent higher than those used in 1994 (based on 75 percent of the current order code). The ironic part is that if you built a new building in 1994 (the same exact building) and used the same principles that we used in the retrofit in 1994, the building would not need to be updated as the law applies only to buildings with new building permits before 01/01/1978. That’s why even our structural engineer assumed that the City would issue an exception, but based on the city notice we needed evidence to satisfy the order.

The design fees and licenses alone could cost more than the total cost of construction. Then the seller has to decide whether the work is worth it or just sell it. Personally, I assume the codes were designed so that existing property owners of mom and pop are forced to pay out the same amount of time, money and energy as a large-scale developer. That means the rent would increase if the owners have the money to do all the development and enhancements that are needed. A rate of expenditures should be invested by a private small building operator. Nonetheless, every building’s security is important. During an earthquake, they want to minimize personal injury. In this scenario, the level of security being strengthened reveals the indifference of current retrofit situations with new chapters. What’s your thinking?

We are now in the process of upgrading a structural update LAUSD building using the guidelines issued by the State Architect’s Department of DSA. This is one of the fields where we work in your favor with our technical qualifications and experience working with various structural engineering firms. Since natural disasters such as wild fires and earthquakes, they have supported and led design teams with governing jurisdictions and completion of construction with successful outcomes. Let’s bring together a design team for you!