The steps involved in getting your building retrofitted can be quite overwhelming for many property owners in Los Angeles. Here’s a short guide to help you understand everything you need to know about the Soft Story retrofit.

There are some areas in California that are more prone to lateral forces created by an earthquake; specifically, certain kinds of constructions that are more prone to earthquake damage than others.

These Soft Story buildings must be fortified to preserve them and the people living in them. A Soft Story retrofitting process modifies the buildings so they remain standing in the event of strong seismic activities i.e., earthquakes.

What is a Soft Story building?

It’s a multistory building which is unstable according to the current earthquake engineering design.

When the earthquake hits, this kind of building is susceptible to collapse. This is due to its excessive flexibility in the “soft” first or ground floor.

The lateral motion of the earthquake causes the uneven shifts to crumble the building’s ground floor, making the floors above to collapse over it. Therefore, this is what we know as a Soft Story collapse.

What is seismic retrofitting for Soft Story buildings?

All the previous earthquakes have equipped us to be better prepared for any seismic activity that may occur in the future.

This has provided us with the knowledge of how to modify the existing buildings in such a way that they are more resistant to soil failure, ground motion, and seismic activity during an earthquake.

That’s essentially what a retrofitting job is – to amend your building structure so the building as well as its residents, stay safe in the event of earthquakes.

What is the mandatory Soft Story retrofit program?

Under Ordinance 183893, the City of Los Angeles mandatory Soft Story retrofit program is the new criteria that must be adhered to all the existing buildings within the LA municipality. This applies to properties that fulfill the following standards:

  • Was built under the building codes passed before January 1st, 1978
  • Has 2 or more wood-frame floors
  • Has an open level space that causes weak, soft, or open wall lines

#Exception: This criterion doesn’t apply to residential buildings with 3 or fewer units.

How much does it cost?

Depending on the level of hazard and required work to alter the building structure, the retrofitting costs can hugely vary. According to the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS), the general range is between $60,000 and $130,000 depending on the size of the structure.

Weinstein Retrofitting Systems has been offering best Soft Story retrofit services. Call us at 888-690-1561 or drop us a line here to schedule a free inspection and get a quote.