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 Member Update
84
JANUARY 2021 • WWW.AAGLA.ORG
AVOIDING THE UNNECESSARY COSTS AND
PITFALLS OF YOUR SOFT-STORY SEISMIC
RETROFITTING PROJECT
Know the Things You Need to Look Out For That
CI
Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard,
an Save You Money
By Robert Gross, Crown Hill Construction & Design
am writing this article, because back in 1975, my company was renovating the old
make intelligent decisions before signing a contract for a seismic retrofitting project. After all, this code is not about a leaky pipe or termites. It not only involves the lives and safety of your tenants, but also protecting and saving the substantial investment in your building. Based on my association with Howard Jarvis, I sincerely believe that he would want YOU to have all the facts I have outlined for you in this article and more.
If you are sitting in front of your computer and staring at the balances in your bank accounts or your apartment building ledger, or both, and wondering what to do about your soft story citation, I have a few suggestions for you. The first thing to do is to find a reliable (but not necessarily the least expensive) engineering company that does seismic engineering. Take your time, get references, and visit a job in
progress if possible. Once you are satisfied, then
retain them.
and installing fire doors. While completing the renovation, I met Earl Schwartz, who was the City Inspector for the project, and subsequently went on to be the City of
Los Angeles’ team leader, writing the Division 88 ordinance applicable to un-reinforced brick buildings. Since my company was working on the city fire door project, one thing led to another, and an owner introduced me to Howard Jarvis, who had questions about the earthquake ordinance.
Consequently, I worked with owner engineers and the City to bring about a Division 88 code, one that worked for everyone and saved lives. While I am a contractor involved in bidding on soft story projects, I hope you can see that I believe my clients and all apartment owners should have the knowledge to
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