Tarzana is a small neighborhood in the Los Angeles city region. The town was built on the ranch that was formally owned by acclaimed author, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and named for his famous jungle character, Tarzan. Since it lies in the San Fernando Valley, Tarzana was one of the many towns affected by the Northgate Earthquake of 1994. Many lives were lost during this catastrophe, along with major damage done to the highways and structures in the area. After city officials assessed all of the damage they updated their soft-story retrofitting policies in order to ensure that future quakes would not leave as much devastation in their wake.
The current policy states that all buildings constructed before 1994, must be brought up to the current safety standards by 2020. If you are a landlord or developer then now is the time to act. If you do an online search you will find a number of Soft Story Retrofit Contractors in Tarzana, including RetroFitting 360. Time is running out to get this completed and the process, from beginning to end, is quite time consuming. Retrofit 360 serves the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas, and they will provide you with a qualified contractor who will help you through the entire process.
Understanding the soft-story policies
Although Tarzana has its unique cultural make up, it is still part of the vast city of Los Angeles, and so must follow the city’s building codes. After the 1994 earthquake, it was decided that many types of buildings would need to retrofit themselves to better withstand future quakes. While it has taken city officials some time to work out all the details, there is now a soft story mandatory retrofit program in place.
A soft story building has three or more stories and is built over a ground level which includes open space, like a parking garage. The ground level would have doors and windows. In essence, an older soft story building does not have enough bottom support to withstand a major earthquake. There are many possibilities to retrofit a soft story building. A Retrofit Contractor in Tarzana is needed to help walk you through the options and survey your building to decide what will work best for your individual needs.
The amount of work that needs to be done will depend on what the contractor finds in the initial assessment. They may need to create or reinforce the number of shear walls in the bottom of a building. Parking garages can also be targeted, as they may need stronger beams, or more columns, to prop up the floors above.
Completing the process
You will want to hire a contractor who knows the area, the building codes, and has a history of soft story retrofits. Once the initial assessment is done, they will create a job plan and work with you to help you choose the best option to get the job completed according to your needs. As a building owner, you will get to decide the ultimate path, but remember that your building needs to follow the updated city codes.
Once a path for retrofitting has been determined, the work will commence. Retrofit 360 contractors will work hard and do their best to minimize construction annoyances. Noise will be kept to a minimum and work hours won’t impede night time. Parking will be kept open and construction vehicles will do their best not to disrupt traffic. It is understood that people will still be living in the area during the retrofit process, and they will want to be disturbed as little as possible.
Once the job has been completed, city engineers will come out to offer final inspections. Each building needs to pass inspection as part of the soft story retrofit program, so all steps will have been taken to pass at the end. Once your building’s retrofit has taken place, you can rest easy knowing that everything will be protected, including precious lives, in the event of another major earthquake.