Call Us: (800) 419-4923
Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.
You are here: Home » Services » Building Assessments & Engineering » Structural Engineering » Seismic Retrofit » Non-Ductile Concrete Retrofit

Non-ductile Concrete Retrofit

Partner’s team of structural engineers can assist with the process of non-ductile concrete retrofit. Whether you’re responding to an order to comply with a mandatory seismic retrofit program or you’re seeking to reduce liability and increase safety through a voluntary retrofit, our experienced engineers can help you achieve your desired outcomes through the most cost-effective options available.

Partner also understands how seismic retrofitting fits in with broader standards such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD, as well as ASTM Seismic Standards E2026 and E2557.

Frequently Asked Questions

Concrete buildings constructed prior to 1977 are generally non-ductile concrete construction, meaning they lack sufficient structural reinforcement to withstand lateral forces and sustain gravity loads during a seismic event. “Non-ductile” means brittle or inflexible; in other words, non-ductile concrete buildings are more likely to crumble or collapse in an earthquake, posing greater financial and life-safety risk.

Retrofitting involves strengthening or modifying the existing structure to improve its ability to withstand earthquakes. This can include adding steel braces, reinforcing walls, or improving connections between structural elements.

Concrete buildings built before specific building codes (typically pre-1976) often lack the necessary features to handle strong earthquakes. These older structures may have deficiencies in their support systems, making them vulnerable to collapse during earthquakes, potentially causing injuries and property damage.

The process typically involves:

Evaluation: A structural engineer inspects the building to assess its seismic vulnerabilities.
Design: Based on the evaluation, an engineer designs a retrofit plan to address the identified weaknesses.
Permitting: Obtaining permits from your local building department is necessary before starting construction.
Construction: Qualified contractors implement the approved retrofitting measures, which may involve various techniques like adding shear walls, strengthening columns, or applying steel jackets.

Some government agencies or local municipalities may offer tax breaks, grants, or low-interest loans to encourage building owners to undertake non-ductile concrete retrofits. Exploring these options with relevant authorities is recommended.

Remember: This information is for general understanding only. Always consult with qualified professionals like structural engineers and your local building department for specific guidance and requirements related to non-ductile concrete retrofits.

Digging Deeper

City Ordinances Requiring Seismic Retrofit

The City of Los Angeles passed a mandatory retrofit ordinance in 2015 requiring the structural strengthening of wood-framed soft-story buildings built before 1978 and non-ductile concrete buildings built before 1977. Property owners are required to submit a completed building review checklist or file an appeal within three years of receiving an order to comply. Partner can help owners determine whether their property may qualify for an appeal, or assist them in completing and submitting the checklist. If a retrofit is necessary, Partner can provide design or plan review services to identify the most cost-effective options to achieve compliance and satisfy the building owner’s objectives.

Retrofit ordinances can be complicated and city-specific. Partner has experience navigating them and guiding clients to compliance. While Los Angeles is the first to address non-ductile concrete buildings in a seismic retrofit program, other communities such as San Francisco, Santa Monica, San Jose, and Portland may soon follow suit. Partner provides a list of seismic retrofit ordinances here.

Meet the Experts

Related Videos

Let us be your Partner

Learn how we can support your next project or share insights via our newsletter.
Partner is the leading provider of engineering, environmental, construction, energy, and valuation consulting for the commercial real estate industry. We help our clients manage risk, make smart investments, optimize asset performance, and win at their real estate investment strategies.
Our Family of Companies
Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy   |  Website Terms of Use  |  © 2023 Partner ESI. All rights reserved.
crossmenuchevron-uparrow-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram