Important Steps to Undertake During Soft Story Retrofitting

Soft story retrofitting has been made mandatory under the Ordinance 183893 by the City of Los Angeles. Below are the important steps you have to undertake if your soft story building falls in the list.

Develop Retrofit Design

Assign a civil or structural engineer, and develop a earthquake retrofitting design for your soft story building. In most of the cases, structural steel frame installation or fastened plywood installation at the ground level are the only necessities during a seismic retrofit. However, foundation work and removal or re-installation of interior wall might also be necessary in few of the cases.

The objective of the retrofitting process is to minimize the chances of damage, which might happen to your building during an earthquake. You can also consult the engineer and ask him to include plans to increase the overall strength of your building.

Obtain Original Drawings

Find the original drawings of your building. Visit the city building department and try to gather the original drawing and related documents regarding your building. Conduct an investigation on the existing condition of your building after getting the documents.

The investigation usually suggests the removal of small areas of wall or ceiling finishes. It is also significant to conduct investigation on the presence of any hazardous material within your building. You may also have to consult an industrial hygienist to analyze the samples collected from your building.

Hire Retrofitting Companies in Los Angeles

Hire an expert team to conduct a special inspection of your property. This is a quality assurance process to confirm the building code mandates for the structural work specified in the retrofitting plan. Make sure to bring a special inspector prior to the construction process in order to inspect certain procedures such as epoxy into existing concrete, field welding, high strength grouting, etc.

File Permit Application for Your Building

The next step is to file drawings and calculations with LADBMS. The building permit application should also be prepared during this stage. The compliance tier of a building depends on the factors such as occupant quantity and occupancy type.

Consult with the civil or structural engineer who had drawn your retrofitting plans and review the comments on your plan. Resolve the problems and then apply for a building permit before starting the construction.

Posted on Thursday, January 25th, 2018.