Seismic Retrofit Ordinance 183893

Ordinance 183893 was passed by the City of Los Angeles in 2015 to improve its seismic safety. This ordinance addresses about 15,000 buildings that were made before 1978, and mandates that wood framed open front apartments and non-ductile concrete buildings should be analyzed for conformance with the earthquake standards. As per the ordinance, buildings that do not conform to the standards should either be demolished or reinforced before the specified time.

The Necessity of the Ordinance

Hurricane Katrina was the worst hurricane that struck the United States in 2005, and the mandatory retrofit program was introduced after that. The loss and damage caused by the hurricane was over a hundred billion dollars.

Older buildings are under high risk and this has been recognized for years. There were many previous programs like Senate Bill 1953 to strengthen these buildings. However, if strengthening of the buildings in Los Angeles is not done properly, another big earthquake can lead to a loss of over a thousand billion dollars.

Benefits of the Program

It is true that seismic retrofitting is expensive, but the Ordinance 183893 has measures to counter that. Some of the benefits of the program are listed below.

  • The program can prove economical in the course of time, as buildings conforming to the ordinance will have reduced insurance premiums and increased lease rates.
  • If a building falls in the scope of Ordinance 183893, the owner needs to educate tenants who occupy the same. This would help the tenants know how safe their house is.
  • Building that are strengthened under the program will be attractive to tenants, and it will be easy to finance and insure these buildings.
  • Buildings conforming to Ordinance 183893 are less likely to suffer damages in an earthquake, and these buildings could get easily green tagged after an incident. This will preserve the lease or rental income of the owner of the building.