Los Angeles Seismic Retrofit

Office Location : 14801 S. AVALON BLVD. Gardena, California (90248)

Penhall is your top choice for seismic engineering and construction services for every type of seismic retrofitting. Penhall Company is celebrating 60 years of excellent service! Whatever your design build need we are ready assist you with your next seismic retrofitting project.

Penhall has a long history of seismic work. While we possess the resources and capabilities to take on any size contract, we consider no job too specialized, too large or too small. We believe that every project deserves our utmost attention to detail and commitment to client satisfaction. Our clients know they can depend on us to get the job done on time and on target, from start to finish and every step in between. Whatever your needs, wherever you’re located, trust Penhall Seismic retrofit services do it right.

Los Angeles – Seismic Retrofit News

Full Service Engineering and Construction in Los Angeles

As seen posted by the LADBS, the City of Los Angeles passed Ordinance 183893, which requires the retrofit of pre-1978 wood-frame soft-story buildings and non-ductile concrete buildings. The goal of the mandatory seismic retrofit ordinance is to reduce these structural shortfalls and improve the safety of the flagged buildings during earthquakes in Southern California. Deprived of retrofitting, the weak buildings may be exposed to major structural damage. See how apartments can collapse during an earthquake in this LA Times infographic.

Buildings that are most vulnerable have been identified with the following conditions:

  • Consist of 2 or more stories wood frame construction
  • Built under building code standards enacted before January 1, 1978
  • Contain ground floor parking or other similar open floor space

The program does not apply to residential buildings with 3 or less units.

More information can be found in the following articles:

How Long Do I Have to Comply?

From the Receipt of the Order to Comply with the Seismic Retrofit Ordinance

  • 2 years: Submit proof of previous retrofit, or plans to retrofit or demolish
  • 3.5 years: Obtain permit to start construction or demolition
  • 7 years: Complete construction

Helpful Information on the Soft-Story Retrofit Program by the LADBSDoes My Building Require Retrofitting?
See if your building was selected for a seismic retrofit by entering your address in this interactive database.If you live in the Los Angeles area and received a notice to comply with the local seismic retrofit ordinance you are not alone. Over 13,000 soft story properties must do the same.The important place to start is to get an assessment. It is possible that your building doesn’t need retrofitting or that there is a solution for your building can be very simple.Retrofitting costs and solutions vary, but you can rest assured knowing that Penhall offers a value engineering approach that is both economical and compliant with the local ordinance.Before you start the complicated process of your soft-story retrofitting alone please take a moment to call Penhall Seismic Retrofit Services for your free evaluation at 213-358-2514

West Hollywood – Seismic Retrofit News

Proposed West Hollywood Seismic Policy

According to the latest city council meeting the proposed seismic policies and summaries have been presented and made public and for review. At-a-glance highlights and details of the proposed policies and seismic summaries can be found below courtesy of the city council presentation.

  • Time Period for Compliance
Required Action by OwnerSubmit Screening ReportSubmit Retrofit PlansObtain Permit & Commence ConstructionComplete Construction
Milestone1 year2 years4 years5 years
from notice to the Ownerfrom notice to the Ownerfrom notice to the Ownerfrom notice to the Owner

Priority Designation

Soft-story buildings will be categorized into three priorities with higher occupancy buildings being required to comply first. The breakdown is as follows:

Priority IBuildings containing 16 or more dwelling units
Priority II3 stories or more containing fewer than 16 dwelling units
Priority IIIBuildings not falling within the definition of Priority I or II

The latest information on the timelines and the full council meeting details including a copy of the presentation can be found on West Hollywood’s seismic retrofit program web page.

Santa Monica – Seismic Retrofit News

The Santa Monica seismic retrofit ordinance is currently in the 30-day petition period. The 2nd reading of the ordinance will be held on March 28th, and can potentially be in effect on April 1st. Upon the completion of the 30-days from the 2nd reading, the notices may be sent out.

The Santa Monica rent control board still has yet to make a decision on the amount of cost that owners are allowed to pass through to the tenants.

Based on the proposed noticing schedule (below), unreinforced masonry (“URM”) buildings are first in line. This would include any building with at least one unreinforced masonry bearing wall. The owners of these URM buildings will have 3 months from the date the notice was sent to have structural analysis performed on their buildings. This must be performed by a certified structural engineer/architect. The City of Santa Monica Planning and Community Development Building and Safety department is anticipating a surge in permit applications, which may affect the time it takes for application approval.

An address search on buildings that fall under the ordinance is available on the City of Santa Monica’s website.

Credit to MiTek/Hardy Frame

Credit to MiTek/Hardy Frame

Santa Monica Earthquake Retrofitting- Proposed Timeline

Proposed Noticing Schedule
Building Type CategoriesStart Date of Sending NoticesQuantity (Approx)Compliance Date – Evaluation Report Due

Compliance Date- Retrofit Complete

URMMay 1, 2017200

Aug-Oct 2017

(3 months)

Aug-Oct 2019

(2 years)

Concrete Tilt UpJuly 10, 201730Nov 2017

(4 months)

Nov 2020

(3 years)

Soft Story -> 2 StoriesJuly 24, 2017400

July-Aug 2019

(2 years)

July-Aug 2023

(6 years)

Soft Story- 16 or more unitsOctober 16, 201760

Oct-Nov 2019

(2 years)

Aug-Oct 2023

(6 years)

Non-Ductile ConcreteOctober 16, 201770

Oct 2020

(3 years)

Oct 2027

(10 years)

Steel Moment FrameOctober 16, 201780

Oct 2020

(3 years)

Oct 2037

(20 years)

Soft Story – 2 Stories, 7 to 15 Units

November 27, 2017300

Nov 2019-Feb 2020

(2 years)

Nov 2020-Feb 2021

(3 years)




Soft Story-2 Stories < 7 Units

February 19,2018300

Feb-Apr 2020

(2 years)

Feb-Apr 2024

(6 years)

May 7, 2018300

May-Jul 2020

(2 years)

May-Jul 2024

(6 years)

August 6, 2018300

Aug-Oct 2020

(2 years)

Aug-Oct 2024

(6 years)

For more information, view the following links:

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