Soft-Story Retrofit free Inspection

Soft-Story Retrofit Mandatory in Los Angeles, CA

The City of Los Angeles has recently passed an Ordinance requiring the retrofit of "Soft-First-Story" wooden buildings and nonductile concrete buildings to ensure life safety.

A typical soft-story building is a building consisting of two or more stories located over a ground level with large openings, such as tuck under parking, garages, or a commercial store front. Without proper strengthening of these buildings, the building may be subjected to structural failure during and/or after an earthquake.

Under the ordinance, seismic retrofits of the wooden structures must occur within 7 years. Within this time period, there are milestones that owners must meet to show that they are taking steps to have their buildings assessed and, if deemed necessary, strengthened.

From Los Angeles Ordinances 183893 and 184081:

91.9305.2. Time Limits for Compliance. The owner of a building within the scope of this division shall comply with its requirements within the following limits:

  1. Within two (2) years after service of the order described in Section 91.9306, submit to the Department for review and approval:
    1. A structural analysis and plans which shall demonstrate the building, as is, meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in Section 91.9309; or
    2. A structural analysis and plans which shall demonstrate that the proposed structural alteration of the building meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in Section 91.9309; or
    3. Plans for the demolition of the building.
  2. Within three and a half (3.5) years after service of the order, obtain all necessary permits for rehabilitation or demolition.
  3. Within seven (7) years after service of the order, complete construction or demolition work under all necessary permits.

Time limits for compliance shall be based on the service date of the original order from the Department. Transfer of title shall not change compliance dates

How to Protect a Soft Story Structure

The first step in any soft-story seismic retrofitting project is to analyze the structure and determine the best way to strengthen the building. Our structural engineers will have to weigh several factors when deciding the best way to approach a project. Not only do we have to ensure the building will meet the structural standards required of retrofitted buildings, but we also have to minimize the impact on the function and use of the building. At Point Design Inc., we typically use different approaches, customized methods and techniques to complete a soft-story seismic retrofit.

Schedule a Free Inspection

If you own a soft-story structure, Point Design Inc., is offering a free inspection consultation to building owners. To schedule a free inspection consultation with us, please call us at 949-250-0522. Our senior Structural Engineer will review the information you provide and contact you to schedule your inspection.

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Point Design Inc. | 4700 Von Karman Ave., Suite 105 | Newport Beach, CA 92660 | Tel: (949) 250-0522 | Fax: (949) 251-9911