Thousands of buildings around the city of Los Angeles have been identified as being at risk for collapse in the next big earthquake. After 1994, city officials updated building codes and policies that mandate owners to complete Earthquake Retrofits in Los Angeles to ensure the safety of the public and to protect private property. Does your building meet these new earthquake safety codes?
Since the city has mandated that owners and managers complete the retrofitting process throughout Los Angeles many questions have arisen. Here are the four most asked questions and their answers to help you:
Will My Building be Earthquake Proof?
No building is ever completely earthquake proof, but a retrofit will make sure it is safer than it was without one. The process of an earthquake retrofit reinforces a building’s structure so it will be better able to handle any seismic activity. Older buildings, constructed before 1996, are more prone to earthquake damage, so a Earthquake Retrofit in Los Angeles will help to find and fix any issues that cause an immediate risk.
While some newer structures are claiming to be “earthquake-resistant”, they have only been built to meet the current Life Safety standards. New technology and more durable building materials are used in new construction so that these buildings are less likely to undergo severe damage during a seismic event. While an earthquake retrofit of an older building can’t match the safety levels of newer ones, it can improve the stability of an older building making them safer during the next quake.
What Type of Buildings Pose the Highest Risk?
After the Northgate Earthquake, Los Angeles city officials surveyed the damage done and came up with new seismic building codes. What they found in their survey is that certain types of buildings were more likely to collapse during a quake. The types of buildings that pose the highest risk include soft-story, non-ductile concrete, concrete tilt-ups and many masonry structures.
These high-risk structures were built before the new seismic policies and include apartment complexes and businesses like office buildings, hotels, retail outlets, warehouses, and parking garages.
How Much Will a Retrofit Cost?
While this may be the most commonly asked question, it is also the hardest to answer. The cost of the entire project depends on a variety of things. The cost is determined by the size of the building, how much work it needs, and which company you choose to perform the Earthquake Retrofit in Los Angeles. The best way to answer this question is to schedule an initial consultation which will provide you with a list of the repairs your building needs along with an estimate of what it will cost.
How Long Does it Take to Complete the Job?
Like the previous question, how long it will take to complete the job depends on the size of your building and what needs to be reinforced. Fortunately for businesses, the work can usually be done during business hours, with a minimal amount of disturbance, so you do not have to worry about a loss of income due to being closed. The average amount of time that an earthquake retrofit takes to complete is anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, again this will depend on the size of your building.
If your building needs an earthquake retrofit, or you just want more information, contact Retrofitting 360, we service the greater Los Angeles area.