AWARD WINNING SEISMIC ENGINEERS

LA Soft Story Retrofit New Deadlines


Within recent years, the city of Los Angeles has taken significant action to ensure that buildings are safe, reliable, and secure against the devastating effects of an earthquake. Below LA soft story retrofit new deadlines are presented. With new rules and regulations implemented, a sweeping call for compliance lead by the city government ensures that building owners and operators verify that their structures are deemed safe from an engineering standpoint and that they are well-equipped to withstand the devastating effects of an earthquake. 


Upcoming Compliance Deadlines


The City of Los Angeles recently signed into Ordinance 183893, which requires the retrofit of wood-frame soft-story buildings and non-ductile concrete buildings built before 1978. The goal of the mandatory retrofit programs is to reduce these structural lacks and improve the performance of these structures during earthquakes. Without proper strengthening, these vulnerable buildings may be subjected to structural collapse during and/or after an earthquake.

  • February 21, 2020 - Compliance Tier Change - In case your structure is subject to the project, but it appears having been assigned to a wrong compliance tier, you can fill your data here.
  • February 27, 2020 - Exemption - You believe, that your building is not subject to the Soft Story Retrofit program, you can submit a request, our team will contact you.

Soft-Story Retrofit and Buildings

Buildings that constructed before 1978 according to the outdated building codes. However, the times have changed, and earthquake protection has become more and more crucial for new constructions. Soft-story buildings are typical in the city of Los Angeles, and most of them are multi-story structures that feature a “soft-story” as the first floor. Soft-story buildings are multi-story structures, which are built with their first floors that are much less soft than the floors above (like apartments with tuck-under parking). Traditionally, these are parking garages with housing units above them. But when it comes to protecting your older, soft-story building, these buildings are more prone to damage and collapse. We provide a soft-story retrofit solution designed to strengthen the first story or the soft-story, to ensure that we can improve the building’s seismic performance dramatically. There is a chance they can fail during massive seismic activities, because of unreinforced openings on the floor or ground which caused more movement than your soft-story building could withstand. 

The Notice To Comply

In 2016, Notice To Comply letters were sent out by the city of Los Angeles to all soft-story buildings stating that building owners must engage in a soft-story retrofit to ensure that their structure best protected against seismic activity. Once you receive your letter, you have two years from the date of receipt to submit engineering plans to the city to retrofit your property. If you do not wish to retrofit your property, then you must send drawings to demolish it instead. Properties in Santa Monica and West Hollywood are required to provide a structural Evaluation conducted by a Structural Engineer to assess the seismic performance of your structure as-is. Once your plans and Structural Evaluation are approved, you must take action to ensure that your structure retrofitted or demolished accordingly.

Soft-Story Retrofitting Is Not Just Recommended, It Is A Law

Los Angeles Soft Story Retrofit Deadlines

The City of Los Angeles signed into the law (Mandatory Retrofit Program under Ordinance 183893), requiring the retrofitting of apartment structures that are framed with wood. The above-mentioned structures which are in danger to be critically injured during an earthquake, are upgraded within a limited amount of time - so, soft-story retrofitting is not just recommended, it is a law! 
Now, the city fo Los Angeles has the toughest earthquake safety rules in the nation.
It was noted in the Los Angeles Times, that according to that law, property owners are going to have seven years for fixing their wood buildings, and for the concrete buildings, they will get 25 years. 
Los Angeles has already discovered over 13.500 structure (apartment) complexes that officially are suspected to need retrofitting. In 2013, an investigation of Times, found more than thousands of dollars concrete buildings, involving landmark structures in the downtown, Westwood, and Hollywood, which require close and careful examinations for retrofitting.

Does This Soft-Story Retrofit Law Affect You?

It is not considered as an argument any longer than an earthquake of notable magnitude are going to affect especially Southern California - it is just a matter of time to see WHEN. So, does this soft-story retrofit law affect you?  Because the longer your buildings do not get their soft-story retrofit in Los Angeles, the more likely a disaster can happen. 

Unreinforced apartments and buildings definitely are going to collapse, causing irreversible damage to the structures and the people who reside in them. There are various cases when the properties and bodily damages are stemming from one earthquake resulting in the property owner getting sued for seven-digit figures.

Army of Builders Is Here To Help

Here at the Army of Builders, our in-house engineering team works directly with our team of builders to ensure that we retrofit upgrade any building, whether it be a home or a soft-story building so that it can remain safe from a devastating earthquake. Our team of engineers would be more than happy to come to your structure and conduct an on-site structural Evaluation that you can submit to the city of Los Angeles for approval. From there, we’ll help you determine if retrofitting is needed for your structure. And in the city of Los Angeles, we’re proud to lead the way to ensure that every building complies with the sweeping new rules and regulations designed to save time, money, and lives.

How Much does this cost?

Humans' life is one of the most important thing, if not the most one - means life safety is incredibly priority to everyone, but there is a ''but'' that most of the building owners have - ''how much does this cost?''


Our consulting team will range the cost depending on your purposes and your building types, as well as other possible requirements by you or your structure. We have competitive fees, and our builders will work with you on the most convenient terms, offering the minimal invasive solutions and retrofitting work process, that is customized to your apartment the best. Sometimes, for some instances, we are demonstrating that retrofit can be avoided or minimized all together, leveraging our analytical expertise.