Does your apartment building meet today’s standards for functionality, design and seismic safety?

Today’s tenants have higher standards when it comes to style, convenience and earthquake safety. A recent Suffolk University/Los Angeles Times poll showed that 80% of Angelenos support their city’s mandatory seismic retrofit law —and, there are many vulnerable buildings here in Orange County that share the same design flaws as those mandated for retrofits in L.A.

Given these heightened expectations among tenants – and the very real threat they may be at risk in a major earthquake – many apartment owners are tapping into their equity to upgrade and renew interior spaces along with a seismic retrofit to protect and preserve that nest egg.

The team at Optimum Seismic has performed many retrofit, renovation and adaptive reuse projects over the years, including the conversion of a historic hotel in downtown San Luis Obispo into a mixed-use project of 48 apartments and retail, a similar conversion at the Mayfair Hotel in downtown Pomona, and the conversion of several Victorian homes into student housing for the University of Southern California.

In most of these projects, seismic retrofit needs have opened the opportunity to reinvent the living space inside the building shell: creating large interior spaces, making better use of natural lighting, enlarging bathroom, kitchen and closet spaces, and using sustainable and recycled materials, renewable energy, and energy- and water-efficient appliances to meet the demands of today’s growing, environmentally conscious millennial tenant population.

Reduce disruption and save money

Seismic retrofits of apartment buildings can be done with minimal disruption to tenants, but why not take this moment to incorporate other upgrades to minimize impacts from construction? Doing both at the same time can also save you money by eliminating redundancy and reducing the amount of time needed to manage the work done.

Shared equipment and supplies, staffing and storage requirements can also be minimized for optimum efficiency when projects are done simultaneously.

Reinvent the living space

Apartments built in the 1950s, ‘60s, and 70s tend to have an overall boxed-in functionality. Kitchens are typically cramped and set apart from the main living area. Hallways are narrow, bathrooms compacted, and natural light is limited.

Consider opening these areas to create more expansive spaces by removing partitions and replacing “dead space” with functionality. This may include creating multipurpose areas to serve blended or multi-generational households, while optimizing private spaces as well.

Bring the outside indoors

Consider the exterior of the building shell and how light and landscaping can be incorporated into the interior design. Attractive terraces, balconies and large windows can bring natural light inside and expand the interior livings space to the outdoors.

Adaptive reuse projects can harness these benefits and do even more with them by incorporating sustainable materials into the renovation. Consider using iron, wood, cement and recycled aluminum into the design of your new interior. These elements can create interesting accents that define living areas and reflect the clean lines and elegant simplicity of today’s design standards.

Think also about incorporating smart technology into your renovation. The ability to activate lights, air-conditioning and other features remotely is a big plus in today’s market.

With eight in 10 residents of Los Angeles supporting the city’s requirement to fortify earthquake-vulnerable buildings, shouldn’t yours be among those retrofitted for optimum safety? Make the most of your investment today and call Optimum Seismic at 833-978-7664 for a free consultation.