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Soft Story




Alex -Seismic - Job Site

Soft Story Architectural and Engineering Services

Did you receive an Order to Comply notice in the mail? If your building needs to comply to new seismic retrofit ordinances, our Team of Pros will help you with all architectural & engineering requirements. Our team will represent you with the city when pulling all required permits once construction begins. Our competitors can take months to deliver engineering drawings. For $12,749 our team will deliver engineering drawings in 4 weeks!

Don’t spend countless hours at city hall all dealing with plan checkers. Don’t make several trips back to city hall when they ask for your plans to be revised. Once your architectural & engineered plans are available and ready to submit for approval, Bay Cities Construction will represent you at the Building & Safety division of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood. Our Team of Pros will be available to ensure your plans are approved promptly, so that seismic retrofit construction can start as soon as possible.


Soft story retrofit is now required by law!

Soft story retrofitting in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood are not just recommended, they are required by Law!

Bay Cities Construction has been a California licensed contractor for more than 15 years. We pride ourselves as your learning center when considering a major construction project. Bay Cities Construction has published many articles about Soft story retrofitting in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, CA. You can click here to access them.  Los Angeles now has the nation's toughest earthquake safety rules.

Los Angeles City Soft Story retrofit Ordinance 183893 and 184081 detail which

structures are affected. The city of West Hollywood passed Ordinance 17-1004 and Ordinance 17-1011 bringing new seismic requirements for seismic retrofitting within their municipality. This year the city council of Santa Monica passed Ordinance 2537 to require seismic retrofitting of buildings that are at-risk of collapsing during an earthquake.

Why do we have to retrofit our soft story building? Why was this law enacted?

Los Angeles City Soft Story retrofit Ordinance 183893 and 184081 detail which structures are affected.

Soft story structures designed and approved prior to 1979 are considered weak by current engineering standards. A considerable amount of soft story buildings were constructed between 1960 – 1979.

These structures have the propensity of experiencing catastrophically damaged in the event of a major earthquake. Soft story structures have failed during significant seismic activity. They are weak because they have un-reinforced openings on the ground floor which caused far more movement than the structure can withstand. When this happens, resulting in the upper floors COLLAPSING on top of the lower level.

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What is a Soft Story Retrofit?

The weakest parts of the building are structurally reinforced to be able to resist seismic movement during an earthquake. In many cases structural steel connectors and I-beams are used. In most cases glue-lam beams and steel connection hardware are used to carry strengthen the weak sections of a structure.

How Long Do You Have to Comply?

According to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety Property Owners Guide, you need to submit proof of previous retrofit, plans to retrofit, or plans to demolish within 2 years of receiving the Order to Comply. This might be different for West Hollywood and Santa Monica, so you’ll want to make sure to check your notice letter.

What Cities Require Retrofits?

  • Los Angeles

  • Santa Monica

  • West Hollywood

  • Pasadena

  • Beverly Hills

  • Culver City


Four Levels of Performance

There are four levels of performance your seismic retrofit can meet.

Operational Level


Immediate Occupancy


Collapse Prevention


Operational Level


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