L.A. Quake Retrofit Ordinance Signed Into Law and other Local Municipalities Soon to FollowNov 04 2015 · 0 comments · Nishkian Chamberlain, Seismic ·0
Each year, an earthquake preparedness event known as the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill takes place around the globe. The event provides an opportunity for people in homes, schools, businesses and other organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes. Earthquake articles like the one from The New Yorker also remind us how important it is to retrofit homes and buildings and to make sure homes, businesses, families, and coworkers are prepared.
On October 9, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to pass a law intended to improve the seismic safety and community resilience of the City. The adoption of the seismic retrofit ordinance addresses the earthquake vulnerability for over 15,000 buildings in Los Angeles. The new law focuses on the two types of structures most vulnerable during an earthquake: 1,500 non-ductile concrete buildings, with permit application prior to January 13, 1977, and 13,500 three or more unit wood apartment complexes with a weak first stories and a permit application prior to January 1, 1978. The ordinance will be effective November 22, 2015 and owners will begin receiving notifications shortly thereafter. The official order letters will be sent on a rolling basis, with building officials focusing on the largest apartment buildings first. It requires analysis to show the building is in conformance with minimum standards. Owners of buildings found to be non-conforming will be required to strengthen the building or put forth a plan for demolishing it within given 7-year and 25-year time frames for the wood or concrete structures, respectively. Retrofit costs can range from $20,000 for small apartment buildings to several hundred thousand dollars for multistory concrete buildings.
Owners will be required to advise all current and prospective residential and non-residential tenants of buildings determined to fall with the scope of the City of Los Angeles’ ordinance. The law does allow building owners to increase rents, but there are concerns that tenants will not be able to handle the rent where tenants are already spending nearly 50 percent of their income on rent. The city’s housing department is suggesting renters and owners split the cost of the hike, allowing owners to charge $38 a month in retrofit payment.
Is Your Building Subject To The Ordinance?
Does the Ordinance Affect the Market Value of your
Is Your Investment Secure?
Are Your Tenants Safe?
Maintaining value in uncertainty requires understanding of your risk. For this, you want more than just any analysis or plan – you want an experienced consultant you can trust; a talented team with a thorough knowledge of seismic hazards and experience in the entire structural retrofit process to be your advocate. At Nishkian Chamberlain, we combine our experience on thousands of seismic risk evaluations with full service capabilities in the structural retrofit of all building types and sizes. Our strengthening projects always include coordination with city requirements, appropriately detailed analysis, and construction support services completed by experienced Nishkian Chamberlain structural engineers.
Reducing the vulnerability of these buildings will protect lives, enhance the community’s resilience by ensuring neighborhoods remain viable, and improve the likelihood that rental and investment income continues after an earthquake. Let our team assist you in evaluating and mitigating risks in compliance with the new Los Angeles Ordinance. Contact Craig Chamberlain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California supports this Ordinance.
Download a copy of Ordinance NO. 183893 from the City of Los Angeles Here: