Soft-story apartment and commercial buildings are among the structures most vulnerable to extensive damage during earthquakes.
Some 100,000 of these structures exist in California, according to the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California. The U.S. Resiliency Council has estimated that approximately 2.5-million people live in these buildings.
The grim reality is that the next “Big One” can strike this region at any moment leaving massive death and destruction in its wake.
Against this backdrop, Optimum Seismic has been working to perform seismic retrofits to enhance the structural safety of these soft-story buildings since 1984.
More than a dozen cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have enacted ordinances requiring seismic retrofits to be performed on soft-story buildings to protect the public. Thousands of seismic retrofits have already been completed across California. Momentum is growing for similar regulations as at least five additional cities are currently considering seismic ordinances to enhance structural safety.
Seismic ordinances aim to ensure soft-story buildings comply with current building standards for seismic safety and are structurally safe to protect the public from future earthquakes. Soft-story building retrofits play a key role in efforts to make California communities safer.
There are many benefits to building owners starting their retrofit sooner, rather than later: