Earthquake Retrofit Ordinance

What is it ?

This is a mandatory law from the City of Los Angeles (ordinance 183893) requiring apartment buildings, that have a potential to collapse during an earthquake to be strengthened by adding additional reinforcement to their structure .Apartments with four or more units, having a soft-story(tuck-under parking, retail space with large windows or open floor spaces), built prior to 1978, are included in the list of apartments needing retrofit. An apartment owner has two years after receipt of a notice from the city (the Order to comply) of the earthquake requirement to submit and 3.5 years receive approval for engineering to meet LA’s earthquake retrofit requirements; the owner has 7 years to years to implement the engineering or to demolish the building.

What do Apartment owners need to do to comply with this new ordinance ?

Step 1 is to hire an engineering contractor who has a licensed, structural engineer on board or a structural engineer (or architect) separately to put together engineering to move forward.

Included along with this plan should be the contractor providing assistance to get the necessary permits along with working out a plan to coordinate with your tenants during the actual construction. This is required by LA City.

Step 2 The construction process is the final phase where an engineering contractor must be hired to follow the plans put forth by the structural engineer to complete the project.

Does the Apartment owner have to shoulder all the costs ?

The good news is that at the city is allowing apt owners to pass through up to 50% of the costs to all the tenants, up to $38/unit. A reputable contractor will address this issue with you when the plans are being drawn up. Their job is to provide not only high quality work but to help you keep the costs down.

Why look at Electro-Thermal to help comply with your Earthquake Retrofit order?

We are an established engineering contracting firm with a history of excellence in providing a quality service to our customers. The owner of our company is not only a licensed engineering contractor (603892), but also a graduate economist (MA),which gives him additional insight into not only providing the structural elements of the project but targeting the economics of the plan which can save significant monies to apartment owners.We also work with structural engineers who have a long history of working with earthquake retrofits. They have done multiple projects in the Bay Area which required earthquake retrofit two years before the Los Angeles law was passed.

Electro-Thermal’s services include: engineering, approved plans, Tenant Habibility Plan assistance, Cost Recovery application, permits, and project construction.