What is a Soft-Story Building & Why is it an issue?
In 1994 the Northridge Earthquake hit Los Angeles causing unprecedented damage and building collapse. What this earthquake also did was expose the fundamental structural flaws of most existing buildings on the West Coast. Soft story buildings (Meaning the first floor is less rigid than those above) were found to be much more susceptible to catastrophic failure due to a lack of structural reinforcement.
In Earthquake Prone areas such as San Francisco and surrounding Bay Area headway was made to identify the issue and work to rectify. Experts are convinced that in the next few decades San Francisco will experience a large earthquake resulting in 80% of San Francisco’s soft story buildings would collapse or be damaged beyond repair.
One of our specialties at Mulhall Construction is Soft-Story Retrofitting existing buildings to reinforce them in the event of an Earthquake.
Since that incident many ordinances & regulations have been put in place to bring soft-story buildings up to code and out of immediate danger in anticipation of a potential earthquake.
The best way to protect a building, and the procedure of Soft-Story Retrofits include strengthening the property by adding lateral stiffness & strength to attain earthquake safety, an area that wasn’t tackled during the construction of many buildings in the Bay Area.
Additions can include sheer walls, the replacement of drywall, stucco and other weaker materials with wood, steel frame, anchors and more.
Mulhall Construction, Why Us
At Mulhall Construction we have been at the forefront of the Soft-Story Retrofit program in the bay area, with expertise being sought as far down as Orange County. With decades of experience in foundation projects of all sizes we are able to assess a project & provide the most efficient & effective means for protecting your inhabitants and your investment.
With projects all around the Bay area, chances are you have driven by one of our projects and with our dedication to craftsmanship, regulations, and safety, you’ll be driving by them far into the future.
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