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City of Oakland Soft-Story Ordinance

After attending the City of Oakland’s presentation at the RHANAC Expo, as well as a presentation on seismic ordinances at the PCLC Apartment Market Symposium last Wednesday, I felt it would be beneficial to explain the City of Oakland’s Soft-Story Ordinance. The City has just begun sending out the first notifications, so I expect that […]

Why Retrofit?

Although current soft-story ordinances do not require a mandatory retrofit of your building, you must retrofit your building to have it removed from the soft-story inventory list.  To encourage owners to complete voluntary retrofits, the City of Alameda will waive all plan review and inspection fees for soft-story retrofit projects if they are submitted within […]

Alameda Soft-Story Ordinance Requirements

If you believe that your building is a soft-story building, it may be a good idea to have a licensed engineer take a look at your building before you receive a notification from the city, as the time line for appeals is tight, and requires engineering analysis. Your engineer should be able to tell you […]

The City of Alameda Soft-Story Ordinance

Alameda’s soft-story ordinance and how to tell if your building may be soft-story.

Soft-Story Buildings: An Overview

What is a soft-story building? The term “soft-story building” describes a building with a level or story that is significantly more flexible than the stories above it, which can be hazardous in the event of an earthquake. In multi-unit wood-frame buildings, weakness at the ground level stems from large openings in perimeter walls or insufficient […]