Soft Story

Soft Story Properties are Inherently Weak

  • Poor detailing of structural joints
  • Inadequate reinforcing steel.
  • Inappropriate anchoring of beam and slab reinforcement.
  • Insufficient reinforcing steel in columns with large aspect ratio.

    Soft Story Buildings

    Soft story

    A soft story building is one in which one or more floors have windows, wide doors, large unobstructed commercial spaces, or other openings in places where a shear wall would normally be required for stability as a matter of earthquake engineering design.

    An example of a soft story building is an apartment building of two or more stories located over a ground level with large openings, such as a parking garage

    These buildings will not stand up to major seismic activity because they do not have the proper support system in place.

    Multi-Story Buildings

    soft story

    Soft Story buildings will collapse during an earthquake


    Multi-story buildings such as apartment complexes and commercial spaces are one of two types: hard story or soft story. Hard-story buildings have walls that extend all the way around the perimeter of the building acting as shear wall required for stability as a matter of earthquake engineering design.

    This is a hard story building used to test the strength of specially designed hardware in an earthquake simulation.

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