Seismic Retrofit Services

What is Seismic Retrofit?

Seismic retrofit is the modification of existing structures to make them become more resistant toward earthquake damages and ground motion. Earthquake retrofitting is done to help make your home a safer place to live and reduce your financial property cost when an earthquake may strike. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the average annual cost of earthquake losses in the United States is approximately $4.4 billion, among which California damage accounted for $3.3 billion, among which California accounted for most of the cost.

Why Do You Need To Have Your Property Retrofitted?

Living in active seismic zones, you must always take into consideration the safety of your family, your employees, business, and property value. Since earthquake activities are unpredictable, retrofitting your house or business buildings is not only a smart decision but also a cost-effective approach for your property insurance budget.

In addition, the city of Los Angeles and San Francisco recently approved a comprehensive seismic retrofit ordinances that mandate certain building types to have structural improvement.

Regional  Facts and Statistical Data in Los Angeles

Regional Facts and Statistical Data in San Francisco

What is the process for Seismic and Earthquake retrofitting?

There are several stages within a seismic retrofit project. In some cases, depending on your property structures, you might need to go through all the stages, while others you may not. Penhall recognizes that each building has its own unique features. As a result, in the beginning, we provide free property assessment for any incoming inquiries to help you better understand your retrofit needs. However, Engineer Phase is necessary in any seismic retrofit project to meet the ordinance requirements. During engineering, our team will perform building measurement, non-destructive testing, and CAD design to create a plan to be submitted for city approval. Construction Phase is not applicable to all projects. Below is an estimated timeline for Penhall Seismic service:

Find out more about the process of a seismic retrofit

How Much Does Seismic Retrofit Usually Cost?

The cost to seismically retrofit a building varies considerably based on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include the size of the property, the required retrofit solution, and the company you choose to work with.

However, costs typically fall into 3 categories:

  1. Engineering Fees generally range from $6,000 – $10,000.
  2. Construction Costs based on retrofit solutions range from $5,000 – $10,000.
  3. Permitting Fees are based on a combination of property specifications and cost of retrofit in Los Angeles; and based on a percentage of the construction costs in San Francisco.

Penhall will price-match and verify lowest construction bid (legitimate and comparable quote must be provided).

Learn more about the cost of seismic retrofit project

Why Should You Choose Penhall for Your Earthquake Retrofitting Project?

Overall, any buildings that are more than 40 years old are subject to seismic retrofitting. It is crucial for you to fully understand the process and be proactive in selecting a qualified construction team.

Penhall is your top choice for engineering and construction services for every type of seismic retrofitting.

  • We bring with us 60 years of experience in the construction industry and other services that might be needed for your project, such as: demolition, coring, concrete scanning, etc.
  • We provide assistance in various aspects of a seismic retrofit project including: engineering, design build, financing and tenant support.
  • We are proud to be a certified applicator of advanced composite materials, often referred to as fiber reinforced polymer (FRP).
  • Our team includes certified engineers, project designers, project managers, and 40 dedicated GPR analysts for non-destructive testing.
  • We are present in 8 locations in California (Over 40 nationally).
  • We are your single, one-stop shop for design and build.

Penhall Seismic Services Core Values

Our team members are experts of all building teams and concrete solutions. While we possess the resources and capabilities to take on any size contract, we consider no job too specialized, too large or too small. We believe that every project deserves our utmost attention to detail and commitment to client satisfaction.

Latest News

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge Reopening

Bridges all over California (and elsewhere) are undergoing improvement projects to ensure their security in the case of a large earthquake- some preemptively and some by necessity. Most recently the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, which runs on Monterey County’s Highway 1,

November 22, 2017

Average Time Of A Retrofit

The answer to this question depends on a variety of factors, mainly the size and scope of your individual seismic retrofit project. Each property is unique and requires a different solution than another, so understand that your project may be

November 17, 2017

Seismic Retrofit Solutions: Fibrwrap ®

The new seismic retrofit ordinances passed in cities across California have prompted many property owners to consider the best possible solution for their property’s retrofit, with the help of a professional engineer. While there are a variety of solutions for

November 10, 2017

Santa Monica Rent Control Decision Updates

The Santa Monica Rent Control Board met on October 12th to discuss the upcoming seismic retrofit ordinance and its impact on rent controlled apartments in the city.  It is not just the tenants that are upset about the potential for

October 27, 2017

CoreLogic’s California Earthquake Risk Report

Discussion centered around the topic of the “big one” that is expected to hit California in the next 30 years has been ongoing, as research has been conducted in order to assess risk and prepare as much as possible for

October 16, 2017

Santa Monica Seismic Retrofit Updates

As you may already know, the Santa Monica City Council approved a stringent seismic retrofit ordinance on March 28th, 2017. While the retrofit of single family homes is voluntary in the city, there are a list of other building types

October 12, 2017

Hurricane Maria Relief

Amidst all of the chaos associated with the multiple natural disasters over the last few months, it is so inspiring to see people reaching out to truly try and help those who have been impacted by these tragic events. Hurricane

October 5, 2017

Los Angeles Buildings Conference & Expo

Penhall Company’s Seismic Retrofit Services department attended the Los Angeles Buildings Conference & Expo on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017. This wonderful event, hosted by Income Property Management Expo and Apartment News Publications, was a great opportunity for industry leading professionals

September 29, 2017

What Is Liquefaction?

Liquefaction can be explained as the phenomena when soil behaves as a liquid when there is seismic activity occurring in that area. How does liquid behave? Liquid flows down and causes the soil particles to separate and lose contact. What

September 18, 2017

8.1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico

Mexico was hit with a massive 8.1 earthquake late Thursday night at 11:49 pm. This quake is the strongest to hit Mexico since the 8.1 magnitude quake quake that struck Las Primaveras over 85 years ago (  The epicenter of

September 8, 2017

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