In most soft-story buildings, the area of the tucked under parking spaces don’t have the necessary supporting structure (steel frames, load-bearing walls) to keep them from swaying during a quake. However, once reinforced, the building structure becomes more resistant to the lateral movement caused by an earthquake. At LA Structural we strive to deliver the best soft story retrofits Los Angeles has to offer.
The best way to secure your building, and the lives of the people residing in it, against the dangers an earthquake can present, is to begin a soft story retrofit as soon as possible.
Lower Your Liabilities
As mentioned above, if your building suffers damages or collapses during an earthquake or if people’s lives are endangered, then you could face liability running into millions of dollars. Going in for a Los Angeles soft story retrofit, however, can save you from significant legal implications.
Minimize your Repair Costs
The cost of a soft story retrofit is much lower compared to repair costs you will have to shell out if your building suffers damage during an earthquake. This is because soft story retrofitting in Los Angeles can help prevent extensive quake damage.
Reduce Earthquake Insurance Premiums
By retrofitting your soft-story building in LA, you can benefit from much lower earthquake insurance premiums. Chances are, your earthquake insurance underwriter will categorize you as a low-risk client since your retrofitted building presents a much lower risk of damage from a quake.
Lower Loan Interest Rates
Did you know that you can invite higher interest rates on your loan if your building is a soft-story? However, retrofitting your building will ensure that the bank considers it as good collateral as it presents a much lower risk of damage during a quake.
Higher Rental Rates
If tenants know your building is retrofitted and less vulnerable to damage during an earthquake, not only will you be able to attract good tenants, but you can set higher rental rates.
In Los Angeles Soft Story Retrofitting was mandated by law with the signing of the Retrofit Program in November of 2015 under Ordinance 183893, and Santa Monica, Pasadena, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills have followed their lead and adopted similar ordinances.
As per the law, retrofitting of apartment buildings with wood-frames is mandatory – this is to ensure that the building structure is reinforced and is able to better withstand the impact and shock of an earthquake. Buildings that are considered particularly vulnerable, should be retrofitted and upgraded with high priority. You can schedule a soft-story inspection for your building with L.A Structural by calling our office or book conveniently online. We have also done work in several unincorporated voluntary areas to help clients who are proactive and want to make their building more secure.
Compliance with the Mandatory Retrofit Program is time-sensitive. Based on the date a building’s owner receives notice, soft-story retrofitting progress must occur within specified periods of time. The owner must submit proof of previous soft story retrofitting or plans to resolve a soft story within two years of an Order to Comply receipt. A construction or demolition permit must be obtained within three and a half years.
Within seven years, soft story retrofitting should be complete. However, earthquakes in southern California are not merely possible; they’re inevitable. The timely remediation of soft stories decreases the risk of earthquake occurrence prior to soft story resolution.
As each building presents unique combinations of structural strengths and weaknesses, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to soft stories. LA Structural ensures that your building’s soft story will be inspected by experts and remedied using the most appropriate reinforcement strategies.
Some of the most commonly utilized soft-story solutions include special moment frames, steel cantilever column systems, and shear walls. LA Structural will consider all aspects of your soft-story retrofit project to determine which of these strategies can most effectively and efficiently reinforce your structure.
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