Archive for August, 2014

TITLE 24 CODE BREAKERS

Deja-vu all over again!

This July 1st was the deadline for plans to be submitted for plan checks before this new and much more stringent Title 24 code came into effect. It truly put our company’s resources to the test, as I’m sure it did for many other engineering and architectural firms.

We were bombarded with phone calls, e-mails and personal appearances in our office from clients who wanted to make sure that their jobs beat the deadline for submittal. We had over 15 projects to finish at the same time! Our staff of 16 people worked and worked hard, but we delivered what we promised.

I’M 100% RIGHT ON THE 50% RULE!

Those who follow my periodic newsletters will remember my rants criticizing the so called 50% rule in the 2011 City of Los Angeles building code. Just to refresh your memory, this rule states, in Section 3403.1.1 under replacement, retention and extension of original materials, the following:
“Whenever the aggregate value of the addition, alterations, repairs or rehabilitation of the existing portion is in excess of 50% of the replacement cost of the building or structure, the entire building or structure shall be made to confirm to this code.”

SANTA MONICA STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

The city of Santa Monica has now announced they will go after structurally unsafe buildings! The city will become the first in the state to identify and later make the owners prove them safe or fix them. The ruling concerns three types of potentially dangerous buildings: High rise concrete, steel office towers and soft story wooden buildings. Technically, the city has already passed an ordinance in 1994 — ordinance #1748 for soft story buildings — but never fully implemented it, even losing the list of the identified buildings that somehow got thrown out over the years.

While San Francisco mandated last year that property owners must fix soft story wooden buildings, and Los Angeles is considering putting together an inventory of concrete and wooden apartment buildings, in the Southland Santa Monica actually acted first with this newest announcement.