Retrofitting Your Building's Soft Story

If your building is in an area that can experience earthquakes, mitigating the risk of these seismic events causing major damage will have to be a priority. One of these options can be retrofitting the soft story of the building.

Soft Story Retrofitting Is Essential For Mitigating The Threat Of Earthquake Damage Occurring

There are many buildings that will be designed with a raised base so that cars can park under them. Additionally, some buildings will have cavernous areas along the base floor of the building. During a seismic event, these can be the areas that are the most likely to suffer catastrophic failure. Retrofitting this area can be essential in minimizing the risk of this type of failure occurring. In addition to being a good practice for anyone that owns a building in a seismically active area, these retrofitting projects are often mandated as a part of local building codes.

Soft Story Retrofitting Can Involve Major Structural Work

The process of retrofitting a building to better withstand earthquake damage will vary depending on the design of the structure, the materials used, and other factors. Not surprisingly, retrofitting a soft story will often involve substantial structural work. For example, this type of project will often involve the installation of additional support rods and beams that are designed to strengthen this area so it can better withstand the shaking that will occur during an earthquake. While there may be sizable structural work that needs to be done during this project, individuals should avoid assuming that this will be an extremely lengthy project. In most cases, the retrofitting process may only take a few days to a week to complete. To make it possible for you to effectively plan around this work being done to the building, these contractors will be able to complete a comprehensive assessment of the building to determine the types of work that will be needed to reinforce the soft story and the time that will be required.

A Thorough Inspection Should Be Completed After The Retrofitting Project Is Completed

Once the retrofitting work has been completed, the building should undergo a third-party inspection. This can be necessary for complying with building codes and insurance requirements, but it can also offer practical benefits to the building owner. For example, these inspections can identify problems or mistakes that may have been made so that the retrofitting contractor can be given a chance to correct these issues before they are subjected to the strain of a major or minor earthquake.

For more information on a soft story retrofit, contact a professional near you.