Wednesday, November 9, 2011

RE: urm buildings la city

Hi Paul,


To my knowledge, all URM and early Reinf. Masonry buildings (late 1930’s) in Los Angeles were required to be retrofitted per Division 88 but in my brief experience (6 years) in repairing fire repairs and seismic retrofits, I have seen 2 buildings in Los Angeles City that were alleged to have been retrofitted and plans completed but the work was either not completed or not done at all (no h/t braces, no plywood on the diaphragm, no interior shearwalls as called out on the retrofit plans). In the city of Vernon, I have seen one building that was URM that were not retrofitted nor on their list of URM buildings, in Pasadena, I have seen perhaps 5 or 6 URM buildings not retrofitted and to my knowledge the city of San Fernando does not have a mandatory URM retrofit ordinance (just a voluntary ordinance).


My suggestion would be to do a records search on the property in question and that should show if Div. 88 retrofit plans were prepared. As for the list of URM buildings in Los Angeles, I haven’t seen one online but I know the plan checkers at Van Nuys and Downtown have a large binder with all the addresses on the URM buildings in the city. As when repairing a URM building, the plan checker requires us to show the building was retrofitted and provide existing retrofit details.




Thomas Kennedy, P.E.


From: []
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 8:53 AM
Subject: urm buildings la city


I am working on a URM building (1920's era with wood framed roof and bow string roof trusses) that does not appear to have been retrofitted.  I understand that the city required all URM buildings to be retrofitted, but I searched the city Building Activity Report and there are no outstanding orders against building.  Landlord is recent owner and does not have any info about an order to comply - likely wont do anything unless mandated, plus big impacts to cost and schedule of project.  I have made the point that this is a building safety issue and the right thing to do.  Are some types of URM buildings exempted from the order?  At one time, LA city published a list of all the URM buildings in the city that still were required to be retrofitted, but I am having trouble fining that list on line.  Anybody know anything about that?


Thanks in advance,


Paul Franceschi, S.E.