by Julian De La Torre
Last year the City of Los Angeles enacted legislation requiring approximately 15,000 buildings to be retrofitted to withstand earthquakes. The legislation passed with a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council.
The new rules focused on two specific types of buildings that have suffered the most serious damage during quakes: concrete buildings and wood-frame apartment complexes built on top of carports (also called “soft story” structures).
Recently the city released the addresses of 13,500 apartments and condos that will most likely need some type of earthquake retrofitting. The buildings are primarily located in the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and Westside.
It took two years to develop the list of these “soft-story” buildings – structures that have weak first floors because they have been built over carports supported with columns.
The hunt focused on buildings similar to structures that collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes. During the Northridge quake, a soft-story apartment complex collapsed killing 16 people.
City officials combed through tens of thousands of records and even walked through neighborhoods to locate structures that would need a soft story retrofit (Los Angeles).
The aggressive effort to get buildings in Los Angeles ready for the next big quake has not been without controversy. Even so, many property owners have begun the process of upgrading their structures.
The purpose of earthquake retrofitting is to keep a structure from slipping off of its foundation during the violent shaking that occurs in an earthquake. Different techniques can be used depending on the how the structure was built. Common types of retrofitting include brackets to connect the cripple wall to the frame; cripple wall bracing and foundation bolting.
With a 99% chance of a magnitude 6.7 quake or larger within the next 30 years, many cities throughout the state have stepped up their earthquake planning and preparedness efforts.
If you’d like a free inspection of your property, give us a call. We have decades of retrofitting experience and will make sure your home is properly secured.
Julian De La Torre, expert in Los Angeles foundation repair, house leveling & foundation inspection (Los Angeles) and founder of Julian Construction (http://www.julianconstruction.com) in Los Angeles, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms & local departments of building & safety. The company has done more home foundation repair (Los Angeles) than any other company in the area over the last five years (http://julianconstruction.com/about-2/). Julian Construction owns its own company and is a “no middlemen” model–no salesmen or subcontractors–you get the principals of the company & its workers under your home. Learn more about Julian Construction at http://losangelesfoundationrepair.us/.
See their video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6-SXw6Z1c