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Seismic Retrofitting Occupied Buildings

Seismic Retrofitting Occupied Buildings

Many occupied buildings in the Los Angeles area are in need of structural maintenance, especially those built more than 20 years ago.  A large number of those buildings, including healthcare facilities, apartments, factories, warehouses and office buildings, are open and occupied 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Commercial building owners often have challenging decisions to make when looking at large-scale maintenance projects that certainly could have a major influence on day-to-day business operations, not to mention the potential safety of their tenants and businesses.  Many business owners and commercial property owners may think that it is impossible to retrofit occupied buildings without closing down parts of them and moving tenants/residents to other locations.  That solution would just not be workable for most commercial properties.  While it stands to reason that it would be easier to seismic retrofit a commercial building while re-roofing or when the building is empty, it is quite possible to complete this type of maintenance project without disruption to most ordinary tenant operations, especially when a contractor specializing in seismic retrofitting is selected to complete the necessary work.

Contractors who are experienced with working on occupied buildings recognize the necessity of avoiding interruptions in everyday business operations, especially since any major interference can have a negative impact on the business and will probably cause some big complaints.  Contractors who specialize in seismic retrofitting typically hire a professional team with experience and as a rule, specialized contractors routinely make every effort to minimize any potential negative impacts on workers, residents, equipment and daily business operations.

Once a commercial property owner makes the decision to schedule a commercial seismic retrofit for an occupied building, there are several tips that should be considered to ensure the work is done meticulously and with minimal impact to tenants and/or the business operations:

  • Let your contractor know that you expect them to use safe working practices, ensuring their own safety as well as the safety of co-workers, tenants, customers and other building employees.

  • Make sure your contractor is aware that you expect professional conduct from the entire team at all times.  It is important to check with the contractor to determine the average length of time their employees stay with their business.  The loyalty of a steady crew is a reflection of experienced professionalism.

  • Be sure to let your tenants know about the retrofit project well in advance.  They should be aware of the steps that will be taken to complete the seismic retrofit project, since the building will be occupied while all of the work is being done.  Keep the lines of communication open and request feedback to minimize any interruptions in their daily business operations.

Choosing an experienced seismic retrofit contractor who specializes in commercial building reinforcement will save both time and money.  The requirements for seismic retrofitting are specific for each property and can rarely be sufficiently completed by a contractor with little or no seismic retrofit experience.

While seismic retrofitting may be completed for any number of reasons, most commercial property owners and management teams do so to ensure the safety and security of a building’s tenants, employees, customers, inventory and machinery.  The reality is simply this:  many of the buildings built in California’s dangerous fault zones were not originally built to withstand the forceful strength that can come from an earthquake.  Without a seismic retrofit, those buildings may not survive the forces of devastating seismic activity.   To learn more about whether your occupied commercial property in the Los Angeles should be strengthened and reinforced or to speak with professionals who have the necessary seismic retrofitting experience, call Saunders Commercial Seismic Retrofit today!

Southern California Office

(949) 646-0034

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