Our Recommendations to reform policies related to L.A.’s Non-Ductile Concrete Buildings

NDC Construction photo

Thinking Beyond The Ordinance

Creating a framework for reform to ensure economic viability, improve housing security, and foster sustainability

An Omgivning-led white paper report aims to contribute ideas and solutions for Los Angeles' post-earthquake resilience of non-ductile concrete buildings. To better prepare for Southern California’s next big earthquake, we spearheaded a team of stakeholders, including architects, engineers, city agencies and advocacy groups, with a white paper seeking to provide recommendations to reform the City of L.A.’s Non-Ductile Concrete (NDC) Ordinance. Constituting most concrete buildings erected before the 1976 L.A. City Building Code, “Non-Ductile” buildings are often brittle or inflexible due to minimal steel reinforcing, and therefore have not been safely reinforced to sustain earthquake damage. As currently written, L.A.’s NDC Ordinance requires all concrete buildings designed prior to January 13, 1977 to achieve minimum structural requirements within 25 years, or be demolished.

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CCA Partners with Omgivning For Their Adaptive Reuse White Paper

Fabric DTLA for CCA White Paper Cover

Central City Association (CCA) White Paper Provides Framework for Expanding Adaptive Reuse to Support Economic Recovery and Housing Creation

Central City Association (CCA) is an advocacy organization focusing on Central Los Angeles and Downtown. As the premiere adaptive reuse architects of Los Angeles, Omgivning partned with CCA to release a white paper on adaptive reuse's power to spur economic recovery from the pandemic and address the deep housing shortage, homelessness, and affordability crisis in the City of Los Angeles.

Adaptive reuse -- the repurposing of underutilized buildings to meet communities' present needs -- is a proven, successful practice that is especially key now as cities navigate changing demands to office, retail, hotel spaces and more.

CCA provides a set of recommendations, including allowing adaptive reuse citywide, that the City can implement now to convert obsolete buildings into housing and community-serving facilities.

Omgivning contributed heavily to the details in this report along with developer Tom Gilmore & Associates. Read the full white paper with a list of detailed recommendations at

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California Historical Building Code and Incentivizing Reuse Webinar from the California Preservation Foundation and Omgivning

California Historic Building Code with Omgivning talk Banner

The California Historical Building Code and Incentivizing Reuse Historic buildings provide challenges in meeting today's building codes. However, the California Historical Building Code (CHBC) is an alternative code to retain the historic character and features while meeting the accessibility and life safety mandates.

In the Fall of 2020 Karin Liljegren, FAIA and Joel Chappo, AIA of Omgivning presented a webinar on California Historic Building Code (CHBC) hosted by the California Preservation Foundation.

In this informative talk from Los Angeles's premier Adaptive Reuse Architecture and Interiors firm, Liljegren and Chappo discuss:

- Historic Broadway Commercial Reuse Bulletin: How LA City used the CHBC as a tool to incentivize redevelopment of an entire historic district
- Case Studies on applying Sections of the CHBC
- Applying the CHBC with Use & Occupancy, Fire Protection, Means of Egress, and Accessibility

Watch the full talk:

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Ordering a Poolside Cocktail Just Got Easier

pool enclosure

Accessing amenities within a pool enclosure is once again possible! Omgivning’s successful collaboration with LA County officials allows developers and designers to improve how millions of people experience pools in LA, all while improving safety.

Rooftop and open-air pools in Los Angeles used to allow people to freely go from the pool to the bar. However in 2016, barriers around pools became required additions, impeding easy access to and from the pool amenity areas. These pool enclosures were due to an LA County-issued interpretation of the state code for pool enclosures.

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What Do Architects Want from a Green New Deal?

Green New Deal-01

It's exciting to imagine that the Green New Deal might turn more real if the 2020 election goes... in a certain direction. For this piece by The Architect's Newspaper, Karin Liljegren talked about her wish list for the legislation.

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