Creating Awareness, Education and Solutions for Soft-Story Retrofits Against Earthquakes
Soft-story structures, popular on the West Coast, are typically multi-story residential buildings built above a ground-level garage, tuck-under parking garage or a storefront. Their mixed use design often means wider openings and fewer partition walls on the first story than on the upper stories, leaving soft-story buildings structurally vulnerable in the event of a major earthquake. During the 1971 San Fernando, 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes, soft-story buildings sustained major damage or collapsed entirely.
For years, cities on the West Coast have recommended soft-story retrofits for thousands of residential structures to increase building resiliency. Cities such as San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles have already passed laws that require a mandatory retrofit for certain soft-story residential buildings, and many other cities are following suit.
The soft-story retrofitting process may seem complicated, but we have provided information for each step along the way. Whether you are a building owner, engineer, architect, contractor or inspector, we have useful information to help you navigate your soft-story retrofit from the beginning stage of receiving a mandate letter to the latter stage of implementing a soft-story retrofit solution.
Navigate your soft-story retrofit project, from beginning to end, whatever your role
Soft-Story Retrofit Articles and News
With mandates and ordinances passed in a number of West Coast cities, soft-story retrofit headlines are more frequently seen in the news. Below are select articles on the topic that may be of interest.
Around half of San Francisco residential building owners required to comply with a mandated seismic retrofit program have yet to apply — and face significant fines and penalties if they don't do so by Sept. 15, city representatives told the Business Times on Wednesday. Read full article.
- Santa Monica adopts nation's most extensive earthquake retrofit plan Rong-Gong Lin II | Los Angeles Times | 3/29/2017
- Cole Valley's La Boulangerie Temporarily Closed For Seismic Retrofit Walter Thompson | Hoodline | 1/5/2017
- Optimum Seismic Publishes Article on Earthquake Insurance and Retrofits PRWeb | benzinga | 12/27/16
- Some 22,000 Rental Units in Oakland's 'Soft Story' Buildings Risk Collapse Winston Cho | East Bay Express | 12/13/2016
- Making earthquake upgrades easier Kevin Forestieri | Mountain View Voice | 11/16/2016
- 60% Of 'Soft Story' Buildings Are Not Earthquake Preparedness Compliant: See If Yours Is On This Map Caleb Pershan | sfist | 10/27/2016
- FEMA funds retrofits for 27th anniversary of Loma Prieta quake S.F. Examiner | 10/17/2016
- SF residential building owners slow on quake retrofits J.K. Dineen | S.F. Chronicle | 7/27/2016
- 'Soft-story' building owners set to receive orders to complete a seismic retrofit Chris Keller | SCPR | 5/3/2016
- Staying In Business: What To Do To Survive Soft-Story Seismic Retrofits Shane Downing | Hoodline | 4/16/2016
- L.A. releases addresses of 13,500 apartments and condos likely to need earthquake retrofitting Rosanna Xia and Jon Schleuss | Los Angeles Times | 4/15/2016
- Look at how apartments can collapse during an earthquake - Infographic Raoul Rañoa, Rosanna Xia and Rong-Gong Lin II | Los Angeles Times | 10/6/2015