Located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County is the seaside town of Redondo Beach. The coastal town is a popular tourist destination due to its beaches and the main Pier. Along the pier you can enjoy dining with an ocean view and they host a number of fun festivals here throughout the year. Like most LA residents, Redondo Beach locals were rudely awoken on January 17th, 1994, when the Northgate Earthquake struck the Valley. This seismic event was so devastating that Los Angeles city officials created new mandates to their building codes in the hope of preventing future loss of life. Get in touch with one of the Redondo Beach soft-story retrofit contractors if you are unsure if these new policies apply to your building.

The new softy-story retrofit program affects thousands of structures throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Officials compiled a list of the buildings they considered most at risk in a future quake, with soft-story buildings be at the top of this list. Also, any building that was constructed before 1994 needs to be updated to meet the new city codes. You can find a number of retrofitting contractors in Redondo Beach, like RetroFitting 360, that will walk you through the retrofitting process.

Do You Own a Soft Story Building?

After the Northgate quake in 1994, LA city officials wanted to be sure that the widespread devastation would not be repeated in the next quake. After assessing the damage existing building codes were changed so that all new construction would be better able to withstand the extreme force of a major earthquake. As for existing buildings, they implemented a mandatory retrofit program to bring them up to current safety standards.

The soft story retrofit program will help to make all of Redondo Beach a safer place in the event of an earthquake. Soft story buildings were quickly identified as being at risk to collapse during a seismic event. These buildings have at least three stories to them. They also have large open ground floors that house commercial shops or restaurants. The open spaces will have doors and windows, or they could include parking garages.

These large, open spaces may not have enough support for upper levels of a building. The new retrofit program wants to make it so that these buildings can stay erect but be safe at the same time. Possible solutions include the increase use of shear walls. These walls are built to withstand movement from high winds or earthquake shocks. Parking garages may need more steel beams or concrete pillars to make sturdier spaces.

Don’t worry if this all seems confusing. A trusted soft-story retrofit contractor in Redondo Beach will help you understand the retrofitting details, without giving you too many technical terms. 

The Steps Needed for a Soft-Story Retrofit

The first step is to have your building assessed by a professional Redondo Beach soft-story retrofit contractor. They will come out and complete a thorough inspection of your property and create a work plan of the repairs your building may need. Once the work plan is put together, the next step is to apply for the building permits before the 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 inspection done is 2020, so don’t waste time thinking about it, contact a professional Redondo Beach soft-story contractor to get started today.

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