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SF may have cast too wide a net for Wood Frame Seismic Retrofit Ordinance

It appears that the San Francisco DBI has spread their net so wide for the Wood Frame Seismic Retrofit Ordinance notification that most of the building owners that have gotten in touch me, so far, have buildings that shouldn’t have been on this list. Out of the first 10 screening reports we’ve done, only one building needed further engineering evaluation and perhaps retrofit. All others as well as 3 additional prospects I have looked at last week, we found to be exempt.

As they say, prior experience doesn’t guarantee future results but these statistics are indicative of the fact that many notified buildings will not require any mandatory retrofit work.

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  1. Sasha:

    I’m curious about the reason that buildings have been mis-classified. I’m a contractor in San Francisco and I have received many inquiries about the soft story retrofit program. I’d like to have a better picture of what they should expect.

  2. admin

     /  January 15, 2014

    Hi Bob, well, I posted this perhaps prematurely as the time went on and we did more of the screening reports, more and more buildings fell within the scope of the ordinance. What I saw was the following:
    a. Buildings with concrete podiums over garages have been included in the list and are often exempt from the retrofit requirements.
    b. The definition of the target story is much wider than the previously used definition of soft or weak story. Per SF ordinance requirements if the building has a crawl space with cripple walls higher than 14 inches and\or partial basement with wood framed walls, it requires further analysis and most likely retrofit whether or not it has a soft story.

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