Seismic Retrofit of Concrete Commercial Buildings

After the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, the City of Los Angeles passed a seismic retrofit ordinance for steel moment frame buildings. BOMA/GLA became a leader in the field, and successfully limited the affected buildings to those in the Valley and Westside. The Association also worked with the city to create a revolving loan fund for owners. This significantly reduced the cost of retrofit projects by tens of thousands of dollars per property.

In 2014, the City again targeted commercial properties for seismic upgrades, focusing on concrete construction. BOMA/GLA members spent months working with the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti to develop a more cost-effective and balanced ordinance. The Association obtained concessions regarding permits and other requirements, along with a 25-year timeline for completion of the seismic strengthening work. BOMA/GLA was invited to the bill signing ceremony in 2015, in celebration of this first-of-its-kind ordinance.

Since then, several cities have passed seismic retrofit ordinances. BOMA/GLA was active in lobbying for significant changes in the City of Santa Monica seismic retrofit ordinance, which was passed in 2017, as well as providing comments on the City of Beverly Hills ordinance.

At the state level, the Legislature attempted to mandate seismic retrofit of commercial buildings. BOMA Greater Los Angeles members and staff lent their expertise to the state conversation, and the bills were ultimately defeated.