Santa Monica latest city to mandate seismic retrofits for older buildings

According to Rong-Gong Lin II, Raoul Rañoa and Jon Schleuss of the LA Times, the city of Santa Monica is considering a mandated seismic retrofit program:

Santa Monica’s safety rules would go beyond what Los Angeles has done by requiring not only wood-frame apartments and concrete buildings to be retrofitted, but also steel-frame structures.

The ordinance would require the owners of more than 2,000 buildings identified by the city to conduct a seismic evaluation, and, if needed, have the buildings retrofitted.

For the ordinance to be approved, the City Council will need to pass the law a second time in the next month. If the measure receives that affirmation, the proposal will become law 30 days later.

West Hollywood and Beverly Hills are also considering similar measures. In the city of Los Angeles, over 13,000 buildings of an estimated 15,000 buildings have already been identified as needing retrofit and work is currently ongoing.

In Santa Monica, 1,700 of the 2,000 buildings listed are wood framed. The remainder are primarily brick, with about 60 or so buildings made of non-ductile or brittle concrete, lacking sufficient steel reinforcement to resist seismic forces.

With now close to 20,000 buildings required to undergo seismic retrofitting, the LA basin seems to be opening one ginormous can of worms.