Wood-Frame Soft-Story Structures
The city of Long Beach does not currently mandate the retrofit of wood-frame soft-story buildings; however, work is underway to develop a Building Resiliency Program. The intent of the program is to reduce the risk of earthquake-related damage and promote life safety in the city’s commercial and multifamily buildings. See the links on this page for information on the program’s progress and key dates.
The city of Long Beach currently has a voluntary program in place for the retrofit of existing wood-frame residential buildings with soft, weak, or open front walls. The voluntary program also includes reinforced concrete or masonry buildings with flexible diaphragms (tilt-up), non-ductile concrete buildings, and concrete frame buildings with masonry infills. It is anticipated that the voluntary soft-story retrofit program (Chapter 18.70 of the Long Beach Building Standards Code) will be replaced by the proposed Building Resiliency Program.
The existing voluntary seismic retrofit program for the city of Long Beach includes wood-frame soft-story buildings that have the following characteristics.
- Wood-frame construction
- Hotel, lodging house, congregate residence, or apartment house
- The ground floor contains parking or similar open floor space that causes soft, weak, or open front wall lines and there exists one or more levels above
- The walls of any story or basement are laterally braced with nonconforming structural materials (as defined in the ordinance) and there exists two or more levels above
- Designed using the Building Code in effect before January 1, 1995
The city of Long Beach intends to conduct a city-wide field survey to identify and document the vulnerable building types identified in the proposed Building Resiliency Program.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Long Beach Building and Safety
333 West Ocean Blvd. 4th Floor, Long Beach, CA 90802
David Khorram, Superintendent of Building and Safety