There is increasing research to suggest the next “Big One” could come to this region at any moment, which is why our soft story retrofit programs aim to ensure these type of buildings are in compliance with new legislation and protected from any future seismic event. Soft-story building retrofitting is a key cog in the growing effort to make California communities safer, with more cities across the state adopting similar laws.

There are many benefits to building owners starting their retrofit sooner, rather than later:

  • Retrofitting protects lives and your assets

  • Retrofits help reduce an owner’s liability for injury or death in the event of a quake

  • Some insurance companies offer more favorable terms for retrofitted buildings

  • Construction costs will rise with demand after the “Big One”

  • Special property-assessed financing is now available to qualified owners

The implementation of soft-story retrofits and other earthquake preparations has been a long-awaited requisite. Renowned professor of geophysics and civil engineering at Caltech Tom Heaton said “you’d see collapse of literally hundreds of older concrete frame buildings. You’d see the collapse of many tall steel buildings built before 1995. We might even see the collapse of today’s most modern tall buildings.”

There are dozens of cities curious at looking at this. People are starting to recognize how necessary this is.

Dr. Lucy Jones, Seismologist

There’s a growing effort underway to make California communities safer, as cities throughout the state adopt new laws requiring seismic retrofits of buildings proven to be vulnerable to damage in an earthquake.

The Los Angeles Times recently proclaimed the start of a “New Frontier” for earthquake safety. Famed seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told the Times it is remarkable to see how the political winds have changed for elected officials considering seismic retrofit laws. There are dozens of cities curious at looking at this,” she said. “People are starting to recognize how necessary this is.”

What Constitutes a Soft-Story Building?

When a building has an open first floor (such as ground level parking, subterranean parking, or an open storefront with glass and minimal structural reinforcement) on at least one elevation, this qualifies as a soft-story condition and is thus eligible for a soft story retrofit.

Typical soft-story retrofit programs –– which are conducted by our contractors that have nearly 40 years of commercial and seismic retrofit experience –– include:

  • Installation of steel moment frame, concrete footing and drag line

  • Installation of plywood shear walls

  • Installation of continuity ties

  • Removal and replacement of finishes as required for above work

What are the Steps to Getting a Soft-Story Retrofit?

For a free consultation, turn to the soft-story experts and contact us today!