A Balanced Approach to Retrofitting Pre-1976 Soft-Story Buildings
Posted by Councilmember Englander on October 09, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Earthquakes like the Northridge Earthquake have proven the vulnerability of wood-frame residential buildings as well as older concrete buildings. Soft-story buildings built before 1976 are particularly at risk during earthquakes because their ground floors generally have perimeter walls that lack adequate strength, causing such buildings to pancake. These dangers expose thousands to injury or death. With over 15,000 pre-1976 soft-story structures throughout the City of Los Angeles, theResilience by Design report, in partnership with Dr. Lucy Jones, issued earlier this year, recommended implementing mandatory retrofit standards for all soft story and concrete non-ductile buildings.
Today, the City Council unanimously passed the ordinance as a result of a January motion introduced by Councilmember Gil Cedillo and myself, requiring seismic retrofitting in thousands of buildings across the city considered to be vulnerable during major earthquakes. The ordinance mandates that soft-story buildings that received construction permits, or are believed to have been built before 1978, be given 7 years to comply. Concrete buildings that have permits dating back to before Jan. 13, 1977, will have 25 years to make necessary changes.
Click here to view the ordinance.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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