Soft Story Retrofitting

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Why Choose Us?

Los Angeles Ordinance 183893

A large number of soft story structures in the Los Angeles area experienced detrimental damage as a result of the seismic activity in the city. In November of 2015, a city-wide ordinance was created to obligate the owners of these buildings to retrofit in accordance with the Los Angeles Code.  The purpose of this program is to reduce the risk of injury or loss of life that could be the result of the effects an earthquake has on these wood frame soft story buildings. This mandatory program, which aims to reinforce these vulnerable buildings from potential catastrophic damage, is one of the nation’s largest movements to promote seismic building safety thus far.

Is Your Building a Soft Story?


soft story multifamily housing

Property owners will receive an order requiring the retrofitting to be done and upon receiving this order, will have a finite amount of time to complete the work. This work is broken into three phases:

  • Submit the retrofit plan within 2 years.
  • Obtain the permit to start construction or demolition within 3.5 years.
  • Complete the job within 7 years. 

Soft Story Properties are Inherently Weak

  • Poor detailing of structural joints
  • Inadequate reinforcing steel.
  • Inappropriate anchoring of beam and slab reinforcement.
  • Insufficient reinforcing steel in columns with large aspect ratio.

An unreinforced building with the following criteria will need proper retrofitting:

  • Built under building code standards before January 1, 1978.

  • Consist of 2 or more stories wood frame construction

  • Contains ground floor parking or other similar open floor space.