Monthly Archives :
March 2017
1024 683 Andy McFarland

Springtime: Sunlight, Flowers, Baseball, and As-Built Survey Programs

Retail Renovation Season

A week ago today, March 20th, was the 1st day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.  Here in Long Beach where I live, we don’t pay much attention to that because all of the seasons are pretty much the same.  But in most of the U.S., I have to assume that the start of spring is a big deal – heck, some people are so anxious for winter to end that they are even willing to give credence to the idea of a clairvoyant groundhog.  While we may not notice the change in weather here in sunny Southern California, at Precision Property Measurements we definitely DO notice the start of the retail renovation season.

The first sign of this change is the proliferation of trade shows focused on retail design, construction, and real estate this time of year.  Starting on Tuesday of this week, the conference kicks off Las Vegas.  So the Oakland Raiders aren’t the only ones coming to Vegas – Tawny Correa and Luke Martindale of PPM will be there too for this retail industry event which combines design, merchandising, fixture manufacturing & installation, and a wide variety of shopper-facing technology & marketing.   Other trade shows either just passed or coming up soon this time of year for the retail design & construction industry include the SPECS conference (mid-March), AIA Convention (late April), and ICSC RECon (mid/late May).

Globalshop Conference – Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

These industry events take place during the Spring in order to fit the renovation cycle of the industry.  Based on what we have noticed here at PPM with our As-Built store surveying programs, and from conversations we have had with our clients, it seems like the general timeline for retail store remodels is something like this:

  1.  September – December:     Planning & Budgeting
  2.  January – March:     RFPs to line up vendors
  3.  March – July:     As-Built surveys (from PPM, of course!)
  4.  April – August:     Design and final pre-construction prep
  5.  July – October:     Construction

Which brings me to the 2nd sign that Spring has arrived:  over the last 6 weeks we have seen a big increase in the number of inquiries and RFPs we are getting to provide As-Built surveying for these programs, with many of them talking about launching in the next month.  These clients need accurate floor plan drawings of their locations so that their design team can spec out the proposed changed to the store, and the installers can then get in and out as fast as possible with minimal downtime for the store.  We are actively working with atleast a half dozen retail brands on the scope, scheduling, and pricing of their upcoming As-Built survey programs.

As much as we pride ourselves in being able to respond quickly and professionally to these inquiries, we constantly find ourselves wishing that we could have started talking to the client several months earlier.  A large nationwide As-Built survey program, potentially involving as many as 50+ store locations per week, requires a lot of planning to get right (and at the right price).  So the sooner that we can get involved in the process, the better outcome we can deliver for our clients.

Are you planning a “rebranding” or remodel program for your stores?  We would love to talk to you about how PPM can help you streamline the process from beginning to end.  Contact us to schedule an appointment with an As-Built surveying specialist.  But first go outside and enjoy the warm weather first.

1024 683 Andy McFarland

LA Soft-Story Retrofit Ordinance got you feeling some “March Madness”?

What Is A Soft-Story Retrofit?

LA Soft-Story Retrofit Ordinance

Yesterday was the start of the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, known as “March Madness” to most basketball fans and casual observers alike.  Sadly, my team, the California Golden Bears, didn’t make it to “The Dance” this year.  Although on the other hand, at least that means I probably have a better chance of winning the office bracket pool, because I didn’t have to (foolishly) choose them to win the whole thing. Gonzaga is my choice, in case you are wondering…

Here at Precision Property Measurements, our As-Built surveying company in Long Beach, we have started to get some inquiries from local apartment building owners asking about the recently passed “Soft-Story” Retrofit Ordinance in Los Angeles.  Understandably, a lot of folks are confused about the law, and unsure of what they need to do to comply.  I guess you could say these apartment owners are feeling their own version of March Madness as they grapple with the implications of complying with this mandatory new ordinance.

The Los Angeles Soft Story Retrofit program (Ordinance 183893 and 184081) is intended to reduce possible structural deficiencies in existing multi-story apartment buildings.  These deficiencies could possibly result in major damage and injuries during or after an earthquake in Southern California.  The ordinance follows an almost identical program passed by the city of San Francisco a few years ago.  To qualify under the mandate, a building would need to meet the following criteria:

  • Consist of 2 or more stories of wood frame construction
  • Be built under building code standards enacted before January 1st, 1978
  • Contain ground floor parking or other similar open floor space.

It is estimated that approximately 13,500 buildings in Los Angeles meet these criteria, and will likely need seismic strengthening under the Soft Story Ordinance.  Starting in May of 2016, the city began sending Orders to Comply to the owners of these affected buildings.  Based on the date that the Order to Company is received, the building owner must comply with the ordinance within the following time limits:

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

So for many apartment building owners, the clock is already ticking to comply with the Soft-Story Retrofit Ordinance.

If you are a building owner of one or more of the targeted buildings, PPM can help.  Through our Bay Area office, we have already been a trusted As-Built partner on over 100 Soft-Story Retrofit projects in San Francisco, so we are familiar with the process.  We measure existing buildings and create “As-Built” drawings, which depict the existing conditions.  As-Built plans are a required part of the permitting and inspection process.  We also partner with several highly qualified Structural Engineering firms throughout Southern California, who can take a lead role in guiding you through the entire process including compliance, permitting, construction, etc…

Please CONTACT US if you want to learn more about how we can help.  Now back to basketball!

619 412 Andy McFarland

As-Built Happenings – New Initiatives and New Busta!

New Hire At PPM

>I’m sure I’m not the only one who is struggling to comprehend the fact that it’s already March.  I’ve tried to deny it but there it is, that little “3” in the front of the date field, staring at me in the bottom righthand corner of my screen.  2017 is whirring by so fast that I forgot to blog the last 5 weeks!  I’m not a big science-fiction guy, but in this case I think it is definitely possible, if not probable, that I stumbled into some kind of a time-travelling wormhole in mid-January and just came out in early March.

Whether I remember how it happened or not, some exciting new things are going down at PPM that I wanted to share.  In conjunction with 2 or our Goals for this year – As-Built Survey Technology Leadership, and Customer Communication  (see:  PPM’s 2017 Resolutions) – we have hired an amazing new staffer (or “Bustas” as we call them at PPM – after our Core Value “We Bust”) to help spearhead these efforts:

Greg Davies (Director of Survey Technology)

Greg became our 20th employee on the first day of 2017.  We first worked with Greg way back in 2014 as an As-Built surveyor, and then as a project management consultant, most notably managing our 500 store Ferguson As-Built survey program in 2015.  We hit it off so well we decided to make it official, hiring Greg on the first business day of 2017.

In Greg’s new position he is leading our expansion into As-Built 3D scanning and BIM modeling.  We just purchased our first laser scanner and we are already using it on live As-Built projects.  Greg is developing our processes and infrastructure so that we can start offering 3D point clouds and REVIT models to any client that needs a BIM deliverable.

A little bit about Greg:

  • Was born and raised in Chicago, home of the best team in baseball – the White Sox.
  • Has ~15 years of experience providing As-Built surveys as well as developing technology solutions in the real estate industry.
  • Loves living and working in Long Beach. Extended his list of favorite outdoor activities of running and cycling to include skateboarding and snowboarding.
  • Running both the LA Marathon and Chicago Marathon this year.

“After getting to know the PPM team over the last couple of years, I was really excited to start up full time and become an official member of the family. The team here is committed to providing both the highest level of quality as well as having a good time while doing it. This is the kind of family you want to be a part of.”


I am thrilled to have new talented and energetic Bustas joining our team – I feel like we hit a homerun with this hire (sorry but the other thing that happens in March is the start of baseball season!)  If you want to talk As-Built survey tech with Greg, give us a call.

Now back to work before April sneaks up on me when I’m not looking…