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[SEAOC] Retrofitting of old buildings

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I'd like to know if anyone know of any codes of practices or literature
on retrofit of old buildings.  Specifically what are the factors to be
considered when old buildings are to undergo major structural retrofitting

While there is a large amount of literature/code of practices on 
design/construction of new buildings.  Much less seem to be known
about structural apprisal / retrofit of old buildings (20-50) years old.

Some of our local practice now did not justify the structural soundness
of these buildings as it is deemed that a load test could be too expensive
or otherwise pose danger to the general public during period of load test.
Instead, new reinforcing structures (eg. props, girders supported on 
existing structures) are constructed to support possible new platforms,
areas (eg. a new escalator, cantilever extension, watertank) with little
justification to check if it would pose any danger to the existing 

Apart from a load test, is there other means of apprising the structural
soundness of old buildings? 

What are the practices in your country/region/state when such retrofit
works are to be carried out? (esp. if the original calculations are lost,
possibly u only have the building plan or worse architectural plan only).