Why should the owner of the building take care of the earthquake retrofitting services? It depends on how old your building is and how it has been built. Knowledge of earthquake safety was not applied to construction until the late twentieth century. The addition of steel for reinforcement is one of the keys to making the structure more stable and able to withstand seismic activity.
Towns and buildings at risk
Tall buildings constructed before 1992 should definitely be considered for renovation, particularly in California cities over fault lines. Los Angeles and San Francisco are particularly vulnerable, as both major cities are home to thousands of buildings that could collapse due to a lack of modern engineering. Yet, according to the seismic hazard maps published by the USGS, the entire western coast, from Seattle to San Diego, is one of the greatest earthquake hazards in America.
High risk buildings for collapse during the earthquake include structures with poor foundations, such as soft-story apartment complexes with rooms built on top of garages. Some buildings provide little structural support in the ground floor. Current structural codes and requirements for the safety of earthquakes were established in 1996. Therefore, any building constructed prior to that date should be inspected for earthquake retrofitting services.
Degraded buildings due to condensation are also at risk as they can lead to structural damage and destruction of the entire roof structure. The lack of ventilation and build-up of moisture from the nearby waterfront or indoor heat may contribute to this harm.
Solutions for retrofit
The first phase in earthquake retrofitting services is for engineers to perform an evaluation and review of your property in order to identify the best retrofit options along with budget estimates. (Typically, contractors have better budgets.) The next phase of steps includes construction. In many situations, the solution would need structural steel or structural concrete to be reinforced. Certain retrofit features include the reinforcement of roofs for wall connections and the installation of columns, pillars, braces, frames, shear walls and other supports.
Weinstein Constructions operates on a number of buildings, including concrete tilt-ups, steel structures and multi-family residences with soft-story or tuck designs. The company specializes in the reconstruction or rehabilitation of existing buildings with difficult entry, but also works as a general contractor or subcontractor. Main areas of focus are construction research, seismic refurbishment and roofing or structural repair.
Not only can retrofit help the building resist collapse during the earthquake, it can increase the value of your property, lower your insurance, and make the occupants feel safer. Please contact us at Weinstein Construction Commercial Retrofit to learn more about whether your building needs earthquake rehabilitation services. We’ve been in business since 1979, helping builders create safer conditions in the event of a natural disaster.