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City of Los Angeles’ Plan for the Seismic Repair of Existing Buildings

On February 17, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Dr. Lucy Jones made a presentation to the Downtown Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce outlining the most current developments in the Mayor’s “Resilience by Design” program. The Buildings draft ordinances (both soft story and concrete) are currently under review by various committees including the SEAOSC Existing Buildings Committee. The Mayor hopes that the review process will be completed by June and the ordinances will be in place by the year’s end. The Mayor stated that he “is not flexible on softening the mandatory requirement of the ordinances nor will I allow an extension of the 5 year requirement to have the buildings evaluated by a structural engineer and the 30 year requirement to have the buildings retrofitted.” He would, however, entertain a shorter timeline if it was recommended. As far as a building rating system, it is expected that would be voluntary. 


Dr. Jones discussed the full spectrum of the “Resilience by Design” program. In addition to the Buildings draft ordinances, there would be requirements for water, telecommunications and power. Additionally, Los Angeles is currently testing a prototype of an early warning system for earthquakes within the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Daniel Zepeda, Associate Principal at Degenkolb and Chair of the SEAOSC Existing Buildings Committee, says, “It’s great to see the City committed to improving the seismic safety and Resilience of Los Angeles. Aside from having the existing buildings committee review the ordinance, we will also be working with the city of LA to come up with the design examples to expedite the analysis and retrofit design of the effected buildings.”

For further information on “Resilience by Design,” go to the Mayor’s blog at: 

To learn more about earthquake preparedness, go to:

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Posted by alisshadavis on March 11, 2015 2:26 PM
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