Just a 13-mile drive southeast from Los Angeles, will bring you to the city of Downey. The town is best known for being the birthplace of the Apollo Space program. If you are new to the area, be sure to take time to visit the Columbia Memorial Space Center which features interesting, and educational exhibits about space. Other Downey attractions include the Wilderness Park and Golf ‘N Stuff, a miniature golf course with amusement park rides and games. Like most California towns, Downey has had its share of earthquakes. Due to this, building owners here are part of the Los Angeles city soft-story retrofit mandate.
After the major Northgate quake in 1994, Los Angeles city officials made many changes to their building policies. One of these was to implement a mandatory soft-story retrofit program. If you own a building that was constructed before 1994, you have probably received a notice to bring your structure up to the current code. But don’t worry, there are a number of Retrofitting Contractors in Downey, one of which is RetroFitting 360, which will make the process easy to understand.
Retrofitting 360 provides seismic services to the greater Los Angeles area and have plenty of professional contractors to guide you through the process. They will be with you from the beginning to the end and will work tirelessly to make sure that your project is completed on time, with a minimum of disruption to your neighbors, tenants or your business.
Is your building a soft-story?
A soft-story building is any building that is three, or more, stories high, and is built above ground. On the first floor of these structures there are usually doors and windows and some type of commercial, or open space. When they are built they include a sheer wall to stabilize the structure. But, apartment and office building built before 1994, may not have a sheer wall that reaches high enough.
Another thing to consider, is the open spaces, like parking garages, which the structure might include. During a major quake, if these are not built according to the current policies, they will not be safe during a major earthquake. The floors can easily collapse on themselves, trapping people inside. A Soft Story Retrofit Contractor in Chatsworth will be needed to make sure your building can withstand the ground rolling and shaking if a quake should occur.
Many of the victims of the 1994, earthquake were apartment dwellers. Tenants have no knowledge of the building’s construction, so it falls to the building’s owner to make sure the structure is safe. This is especially true for owners of apartment buildings that meet the guidelines for soft-story retrofitting. It is your responsibility to make sure your tenants are safe. After an earthquake, tenants have been known to sue the landlord for losses accrued, leading to high court costs and settlements.
The steps involved in a retrofitting
The first thing you need to do is have your building assessed by a professional Soft Story Retrofit Contractor in Downey. They will come out and complete a thorough investigation and create a work plan detailing the repairs your building needs. Once the work plan is put together, the next step is to acquire the building permits needed before any work can begin.
After the permits are issued, the contractor will oversee the project and work to make sure that it is completed in a timely manner. This could include adding more steel beams to any open spaces, or adding or extending sheer walls where needed. After the work is finished you will need to get it inspected by another professional, usually from the city.
Once the building passes the city’s inspection you will receive a full report of the completed project. As you can see, there are quite a few steps involved. The deadline to have the work completed and the inspection done is 2020, so it is important that you get started on this today.