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Los Angeles unveils new mandatory seismic retrofit plan for soft-story buildings

Los Angeles has a new seismic safety plan that gives owners of soft-story wood framed buildings 5 years to retrofit their property. Many of the estimated 16,000 soft-story buildings in Los Angeles are apartments. “These new programs will improve the earthquake performance of some of Los Angeles’s more vulnerable buildings that could collapse during a […]

You are running out of time to submit Soft Story Screening!

This is the title of a full page advertisement by the San Francisco Building Department in the SF Apartment magazine.  All property owners who received a mandatory retrofit letter from the city are required to respond with the completed screening form signed by an engineer or architect by September 15, 2014.  After 9/15, all non-compliant […]

Video of Simulated Soft-Story Building Collapse due to Earthquake

In the following video clip, engineers test a soft-story building with a 6.7 magnitude simulated earthquake to determine the effects of a large earthquake on buildings with a soft-story condition. The results are quite dramatic, as the bottom floor of the building collapses, and the building topples sideways. Click on the link below to watch […]

Details and Cost of Retrofitting SF’s Soft Story Buildings (old post)

San Francisco recently signed into law an ordinance making retrofitting of thousands of seismically unsafe buildings mandatory.  This ordinance applies to wood-frame buildings built before 1978, which are at least three stories tall and have at least five residential units. These apartments are unsafe because an earthquake shakes the bottom floor that supports the weight of […]

New Method of evaluating and strengthening of Soft Story Buildings

A small investment in engineering will potentially save on overall project construction costs.

Public Meeting Held To Discuss Berkeley Proposed Ordinance

Last month on October 10th, the City of Berkeley co-sponsored with the ASUC (Associated Students of University of California) Office of the External Affairs VP held a public meeting and requested building owners, and all people interested in improving the safety of housing in Berkeley, to come. The meeting was to discuss an ordinance that […]

Info Meeting Held With SF Apt Association and the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program

Multifamily building owners gathered at Fort Mason on Oct. 23 to learn more about their financing options to allow them to comply with new city rules for certain buildings with “soft stories.” The event was co-hosted by the San Francisco Apartment Association and the Earthquake Safety Implementation Program as a workshop to learn about public […]

SF’s Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Soft-Story Buildings

Below is a summary of what you need to know about the new ordinance in plain words. IS MY BUILDING A SOFT-STORY BUILDING? If the following four requirements apply to your building, then it is a suspect for a soft story building. 1) Wood-frame building with either 3+ stories, OR 2 stories over a basement/underfloor […]

All members of Berkeley’s city council agreed to start working on a phase two ordinance mandating retrofit of remaining 203 unretrofitted soft story buildings.

More than 14,000 Berkeley residents could be displaced if a major earthquake hits the Hayward fault line. People that will be mostly affected are those living in soft story buildings, which are structures vulnerable to collapse during an earthquake. There are 269 buildings identified as soft story buildings in Berkeley and only 66 owners have […]

East Bay Earthquake Preparedness

Click the link below to view a map of soft story buildings in Oakland along with other earthquake information relevant to the East Bay. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/inoakland/detail?entry_id=96071