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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 Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and HUD, as well as ASTM Seismic Standards E2026 and E2557.

What is Non-Ductile Concrete?

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.

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 to complete and submit 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.