In response to Los Angeles city ordnance 183893 (Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program), owners of "tucked-in" carports in Los Angeles are required to retrofit their buildings to increase structural integrity in the event of an earthquake or seismic event. "Tucked in" carports are parking areas located under occupied living units. Example shown here.


Where do you start?
What is NOT highlighted by the information being shared about this new mandate is the requirement to ALSO perform inspections and sampling of suspect lead- and asbestos-containing materials BEFORE any demolition begins.

This is the first step in complying with 183893 and will allow your structural engineer to move forward with subsequent, required, investigations and corrective actions. Not intended as a full building survey (which Ellis can also perform), this first step is intended to identify suspect asbestos or lead materials likely to be impacted by investigative, penetration efforts.


Scope of Service

Asbestos. Our initial visual inspection will include all accessible areas not obstructed by permanent walls or hard ceilings. Each sampled material will be assessed for condition and quantity. Our report will categorize and quantify identified asbestos materials and their condition, and will make recommendations regarding appropriate handling measures. Some surface damage (<1 square inch) will be unavoidable during the testing process. (We'll provide temporary patches with all-weather white caulking, but these patches are not considered permanent and are not guaranteed.)

Lead. Ellis will analyze representative painted surfaces for the presence of lead-based paint using a pre-calibrated, handheld XRF gun. We will also collect representative samples of (a) damaged paint, (b) paint for which XRF results are returned as "inconclusive," and/or (c) ceramic tiles.

We will depend on you or your authorized representative to provide us with timely, safe and complete access to all areas of each area on the date of sampling.

Report. Following results of testing, our report will provide a listing of asbestos and lead materials identified and their condition. We will include a drawing to show the location of each sample. The report will address surface materials that may be disturbed by planned demolition efforts. The report will comply with all requirements of California Title 8 Section 1529, 40CFR Part 763 (AHERA) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1403.


Compensation

Costs are invoiced against Ellis' current fee schedule. Depending on access, building age, the number of buildings that can be inspected in a day, and other factors, total per-building costs, including field time, analysis and report - usually range from $800 to $1400. The client will be invoiced on a time and materials basis. Whether more or less than the estimated total, you will be invoiced only for actual costs incurred.

 

Does your soft story building require retrofitting?
The LADBS has an online tool that allows you to enter your building's address to determine if it requires retrofitting.  Please note, this is a preliminary listing. All owners of flagged properties will receive an order to comply according to the following table-


Structure types:

Qualifiers:

Orders are sent out starting:

1  Structures with 16+ units

3+ stories

5/2/16

2 stories

7/22/16

2  Structures with 3+ stories

< 16 units

10/17/16

3  Structures not included in Priority I or II

9-15 units

1/30/17

7-8 units

5/29/17

4-6 units

8/14/17

Condos/Commercial

10/30/17

 

How long you have to comply to a Soft Story Retrofit:

Order:

  • 2 years: Submit proof of previous retrofit, or plans to retrofit or demolish
  • 3.5 years: Obtain permit to start construction or demolition
  • 7 years: Complete construction

While these timeframes may at first glance feel comfortable and long, consider acting sooner than later.  Estimates are that more than 13,000 buildings have been identified by the LADBS as requiring retrofit.  As you know, construction prices often rise with demand.

Contact us for a complete discussion of your needs.  We are where, by law, you must start.
We can also recommend trusted structural engineers and contractors that are experienced with this type of project.  Call us at 310-544-1837, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or complete the form here.

While we do many things, the process of working with us is simple:

Step 1 – TEST.   It all starts with a miosture / mold assessment.  This is Ellis’ primary mold-related service.  Typically, Ellis’ inspector will walk through the area with you and ask questions regarding building history, your knowledge and memory of roof leaks, pipe leaks or other water intrusion.  We’ll then use a combination of infra-red cameras, conductive moisture meters and air sampling equipment to assess the level of mold intrusion into your space.  Once that is complete – and if mold is found - we’ll provide guidance on the most efficient response, one that will be timely, cost effective and intended to reduce or eliminate mold hazards to workers and occupants.

Note that if Ellis is called quickly – that is, within a few days of water intrusion – we can mark out wet walls.  If the wet wallboard is removed quickly – within 2 weeks following the water intrusion – mold growth is unlikely.  This is by far the least expensive response action.    If more than a couple of weeks have passed, we’ll recommend that the walls are stripped by a license abatement contractor.    We’ll provide guidance on the most efficient, cost-effective response. 

Step 2 – PROCURE QUOTES for Remediation.  Where a mold problem is identified or suspected, and when abatement is required, you’ll need a clear and simple work plan to show to bidding contractors.  On your behalf, Ellis will give remedial contractors a clear idea of the work required. When the scope of work is clear, bids are lowered.  Ellis’ fees are usually exceeded by the cost savings produced by this single effort.

Step 3: ADMINISTER THE PROJECT.  After bids are received, you will need a representative - an experienced professional acting on your behalf - to manage the abatement process on a daily basis.  Ellis thus becomes your eyes and ears inside the mold removal work area.  Ellis’ final clearance notice, signed by an environmental professional, provides lasting documentation that the environmental problem was identified . . . . and corrected.   This is extremely important when selling a property or space. 

Choosing the right firm to do the testing - and keeping that firm by your side through the entire abatement process - is your fastest, least expensive, long-term solution.  Ellis Environmental; your best choice to avoid costly mistakes and delays.

Call us at (310) 544-1837 for more information.

Are you here because you’ve heard from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regarding a possible asbestos violation?  Are you faced with a Notice to Comply (NTC) or Notice of Violation (NOV)?  Or are you here because those are things you (understandably) wish to avoid?

The SCAQMD responds with job site visits whenever it receives a complaint that asbestos may have been improperly disturbed. Upon arrival, the inspector will ask the owner or general contractor for a number of items, including:

  1.  A copy of the original asbestos survey for the site.
  2. A copy of the general contractor’s 10-day notification to the SCAQMD for demolition, renovation or abatement.

If the above items are not produced, the AQMD will issue either a Notice to Comply (NTC) or a Notice of Violation (NOV).  The first one indicates that an issue of possible non-compliance has been observed, but gives the investigated party time to respond.  The second simply advises that a violation HAS been observed and that further action will be taken.

In both cases, the Owner will usually be directed to retain a California-certified Asbestos Consultant (CAC) to perform a job site hazard assessment, including bulk sampling for asbestos.  If asbestos is identified, that same consultant will prepare a “Procedure 5” cleanup plan on behalf of the client.  Following approval by the SCAQMD, a licensed abatement contractor must be retained to clean up the site in strict accordance with the approved Plan.  

We regularly respond on behalf of clients to NTCs and NOVs and, if asbestos is found, prepare the required Procedure 5 Cleanup Plan.

Since our founding in 1994 we’ve administered more than $62 million in abatement and demolition projects for some of the most demanding studios, hospitals and universities in Southern California.

Ellis will  help you make sense of your current circumstance and resolve the above issues quickly and efficiently.   310-544-1837


Ellis’ role will include:

Step 1 – Hazard Assessment.  This is Ellis’ primary service, and the first step in responding to an NTC or NOV.  Ellis’ licensed, EPA-certified building inspectors will submit physical samples to a NVLAP accredited laboratory.  In its subsequent report,, Ellis will tell you whether or not the area you’ll renovating or demolishing contains asbestos.  If no asbestos is identified, you may simply provide a copy of our report to local permitting agencies and/or to your general contractor.  When asbestos IS identified, continue on to Step 2 below.

Step 2 – PROCURE QUOTES for Abatement.  Where asbestos is identified and when abatement is required, you will need a clear and simple work plan to show to bidding contractors. Ellis provides this service. On your behalf, we will give contractors a clear idea of the work required. When that scope of work is clear, quoted bids are lowered.

Step 3: ADMINISTER THE PROJECT.  After bids are received, you will need a representative - an experienced professional acting on your behalf - to manage the process on a daily basis. This will include pre-abatement and post-abatement inspections, monitoring of adjacent areas during the work, final inspection and clearance sampling.  We are your eyes and ears inside the asbestos removal work area.  Ellis’ final clearance notice, signed by a California certified asbestos consultant, is the legal document that you and your general contractor need to continue with your project.


Choosing the right firm to do the testing - and keeping that firm by your side through the entire abatement process - is your fastest, least expensive, long-term solution.  Ellis Environmental; your best choice to avoid costly mistakes and delays.

Call us at (310) 544-1837 for more information.

Other facts regarding the SCAQMD, Rule 1403 and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs):

  1. Prior to renovation or demolition, the SCAQMD requires an asbestos survey for ALL structures REGARDLESS OF BUILDING AGE.
  2. The SCAQMD is active in southern California. They require notification of any abatement project >100 s.f., and will often visit abatement projects at random. Their assessments are fairly administered, but penalties for non-compliance can be severe
  3. The SCAQMD does not regulate asbestos at concentrations <1%. (1.0%)
  4. The SCAQMD enforces limits on airborne emissions of hazardous dusts and fumes.
  5. The SCAQMD is a federally funded agency.
  6. Other California Air Pollution Control Districts (APCDs) are also adopting Rule 1403 as their compliance guideline.  

Indoor air quality is a challenge. It can affect employee productivity and health. 

Yet, complaints can be non-specific and sometimes similar to those from colds, flu, stress and allergies.  It can initially be difficult to determine if problems are caused by sources or conditions in the building, and what can be done to remedy the complaints.

The good news is that a common cause of complaints is often a simple lack of maintenance.  Every response should start with an inspection of the air handler unit(s) servicing the area of complaint.  Sometimes, pre- and inner-filters of the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system have exceeded their useful life.  Putting HVAC maintenance and inspection on  a firm schedule is an easy and inexpensive fix.  The HVAC inspection can be performed either by Ellis or (even better) by the building’s professional maintenance staff.

Proper initial testing is also an easy and inexpensive starting point.  This will often include placing a “Q-Trak” monitor in the area of complaint. A Q-trak measures and records concentrations and trends in carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature and relative humidity.  CO2 concentrations of 1,000 ppm or more produce complaints of stuffy air, itchy eyes, etc.  As with most indoor air quality issues, elevated CO2 levels are most often traced to problems with the building's HVAC system.

Many times the investigator must consider all the factors that relate to indoor air quality to identify possible contaminants and stressors which could be responsible for the reported complaints and effects. This requires a process of identifying and eliminating numerous potential contaminants, sources and other factors in the hope that the true causal factor will eventually be identified. It requires time and patience on the part of both the building owner and it occupants.

airquality2.jpgIn any case, indoor air quality is a serious issue, and depending on the results of its initial investigation, Ellis may also recommend and perform testing for the following contaminants:

  1.   airborne mold
  2.   surface mold
  3.   allergens
  4.   ultrafine dust particles emitted from printers and copiers
  5.   respirable and nuisance dust, usually from nearby construction activities
  6.   hydrogen sulfide (sewer smell)
  7.   fecal contamination (E. coli & Enterococcus), most often performed following a sewage leak and cleanup
  8.   airborne asbestos
  9.   bulk asbestos
  10.   airborne lead
  11.   damaged lead paint
  12.   volatile organic compounds (VOCs), emitted from chemical processes - SUMMA-type canister or TEDLAR bags
  13.   formaldehyde, a contaminant associated with urethane insulation, preservatives and embalming processes
  14.   propane
  15.   legionella
  16.   other contaminants, depending on site specific needs

Depending on the targeted contaminant, Ellis will partner with CalScience Laboratories, EMSL, LA Testing, Silliker Labs, and other local and national AIHA- and NVLAP-accredited laboratories. 


Ellis Environmental; your best choice to answer your indoor air quality questions.

airquality3.jpgEllis has worked with major studios, universities, property managers and lenders in California since 1994. Our longevity with valued-but demanding clients is a testament to the quality and efficiency of our work.

Ellis hires only those individuals with degrees in environmental science or industrial hygiene.  This helps insure that (a) correct testing media and methods are used, and (b) testing, sample preparation and transport are performed correctly.  In short, you want only an expert testing the environment that you and your employees must live in every day. 
Duane Behrens brought 15+ years of construction management and environmental testing experience to Ellis when he formed the company in 1994. Many of these years were with Versar, Inc. one of the largest, most respected names in environmental and industrial hygiene services. Prior to that, he acted as construction manager and owner's representative on many complex municipal construction projects.


Ellis is the smart, affordable choice.

Please contact us for a frank discussion with one of our professionals. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 310-544-1837 during business hours or complete the form.

 

Since our founding in 1994 we’ve administered more than $62 million in abatement and demolition projects for some of the most demanding studios, hospitals and universities in Southern California.

While we do many things, the process of working with us is simple: 

Step 1 - TEST:  You can’t manage what you don’t know.  Have interior surfaces tested for lead content, then decide on what to do based on the results.  For instance, you need do nothing with lead-based paint in good condition so long as it won’t be sanded or otherwise disturbed.  On the other hand, peeling and flaking paint will always require stabilization by an abatement contractor prior to repainting.  Ellis provides the testing and analyses required as the first step in any renovation project.

Step 2 – PROCURE QUOTES: If abatement is required, you will need a clear and simple work plan to show to bidding contractors. Ellis provides this service. We give contractors a clear idea of the work required.  When the scope of work is clear, bids are lowered.

damaged_LB_paint.JPGStep 3: ADMINISTER THE PROJECT:  After bids are received, you will need an experienced advocate to manage the process on a daily basis and on your behalf. This will include pre-abatement and post-abatement inspections, monitoring of adjacent areas during the work, final inspection and clearance sampling.

Choosing the right firm to do the testing - and then keeping them by your side through the entire abatement process - is your fastest, least expensive solution.  Ellis Environmental, your best choice to avoid costly mistakes and delays.

Call us at (310) 544-1837 for more information.

school.jpgWe have learned a lot during our 20+ years administering environmental abatement projects for schools and businesses. First, we understand you're not here because you want to be.

You're here because regulations stand between you and your demolition/renovation project. Or, because it's time for your 6-month or 3-year AHERA re-inspection.

And you're here because providing a safe environment for students is the right thing to do.

We also appreciate and agree this process ought to be as quick and economical as possible.


We regularly work with school districts, from inspections to complete asbestos testing and abatement:

Step 1: When asbestos (or damaged lead paint) is identified, testing is only the first of a three-step process.

Step 2: If abatement is required, you will need a clear and simple work plan to show to bidding contractors. Ellis provides this service. We give contractors a clear idea of the work required; and when the scope of work is clear, bids are lowered.

Step 3: After bids are received, you will need a representative, an experienced advocate, to manage the process on a daily basis. This will include pre-abatement and post-abatement inspections, monitoring of adjacent areas during the work, final inspection and clearance sampling. Choosing the right firm to do the testing - and then keeping them by your side through the entire abatement process - is your fastest, least expensive solution.


Ellis Environmental is your best choice to avoid mistakes and delays:

Ellis has administered $62+ million in asbestos abatement projects for major universities, school districts, studios, property managers and lenders in California. Our longevity with valued-but demanding clients is a testament to the quality and efficiency of our work.

Quite simply, you can turn over your environmental testing and administrative services to us, knowing that Ellis will administer each phase of the process – testing, abatement and clearance - efficiently.

Our team includes State-certified asbestos consultants (CACs) and surveillance technicians (CSSTs). Ellis hires only those with degrees in environmental science or industrial hygiene. You'll potentially need a variety of contractors and vendors to address all phases of an abatement project. We can be there at each step. Our goal is to perform as experts on your behalf, saving you time, money and mistakes. This is why we've been able to build long-lasting relationships with some of the most demanding clients in California.

Duane Behrens brought 15+ years of construction and abatement experience to the founding of Ellis in 1994. Many of these years were with Versar, Inc. one of the largest, most respected names in environmental services. He has acted as construction manager and owner's representative on many complex municipal construction and soils remediation projects.


Ellis is the smart, affordable choice to move all phases of your testing and abatement project forward for your school.

Please contact us for a frank discussion of your project with one of our professionals. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 310-544-1837 during business hours or complete the form.

More about asbestos testing.

 

abatement_administraton.jpgIf you've had testing done, and now want help with the bid phase of an asbestos or damaged lead paint project, perhaps something during the testing phase wasn't satisfactory. Questions remain, or you may not be confident your interests will be fully represented in the process moving forward.

We understand. Much about the entire process of testing, removal cost estimating and abatement is like a foreign language. We work hard to make sure our clients understand every step of the process, what are fair and reasonable costs, and that they are confident their best interests are being represented at all times.

When abatement is required, you will need a clear and simple work plan to show to bidding contractors. Ellis provides this service. When contractors are given a clear idea of the work required - when the scope of work is clear - bids are lowered.

After bids are received and the abatement or demolition project begins, you will need a representative – an experienced advocate – to manage the process on a daily basis. This will include pre-abatement and post-abatement inspections, monitoring of adjacent areas during the work, final inspection and clearance sampling. Ellis provides this service as well.


Ellis Environmental is your best choice for a second opinion, and to move your abatement project forward:

Ellis has administered $62+ million in asbestos abatement projects for major studios, universities, property managers and lenders in California. Our longevity with valued-but demanding clients is a testament to the quality and efficiency of our work.

Quite simply, you can turn over your environmental testing and administrative services to us, knowing that Ellis will administer each phase of the process – testing, abatement and clearance - efficiently.

Our team includes State-certified asbestos consultants (CACs) and surveillance technicians (CSSTs). Ellis hires only those with degrees in environmental science or industrial hygiene. You'll potentially need a variety of contractors and vendors to address all phases of an abatement project. We can be there at each step. Our goal is to perform as experts on your behalf, saving you time, money and mistakes. This is why we've been able to build long-lasting relationships with some of the most demanding clients in California.

Duane Behrens brought 15+ years of construction and abatement experience to the founding of Ellis in 1994. Many of these years were with Versar, Inc. one of the largest, most respected names in environmental services. He has acted as construction manager and owner's representative on many complex municipal construction and soils remediation projects.


Ellis is the smart, affordable choice to move all phases of your abatement project forward.

Please contact us for a frank discussion of your commercial project with one of our professionals. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 310-544-1837 during business hours or complete the form.

More about asbestos testing.