Soft Story - Why Fix It?
Bay Area cites (starting with Alameda, Berkeley and Fremont) are adopting new regulations regarding soft-story buildings. Oakland, Hayward, and San Francisco are likely to follow. If you have received a notice that your soft-story building requires a seismic assessment report or a seismic retrofit contact a structural engineer to provide you with all of the documentation that you need to comply with the notice.
Protect the Health and Safety of Your Building's Occupants
Soft-story buildings have performed poorly in recent earthquakes, resulting in serious injury and death. Building owners could face a large potential liability if they have been notified and havent completed the retrofit.
Prevent Damage and Save Money
A seismic retrofit of a soft-story building prior to the next earthquake could reduce or even prevent damage that would require costly repairs. Following a major earthquake, there could be major delays in making reparations to damaged soft-story buildings.
Protect Your Cash Flow
Five years after the Loma Prieta earthquake only about half of the damaged multi-family soft-story buildings had been repaired. Seismic retrofitting of soft-story buildings early means you could minimize the loss of rental income after an earthquake.
Titles and Refinancing
Selling or refinancing a soft-story building that is on a soft-story inventory could be more difficult than selling or refinancing a soft-story building that has been retrofitted and removed from the inventory. You may also be subject to fines based on holding on to a soft-story building without retrofitting either complete or in progress.
Soft-Story Hazard Mitigation and Sustainability
Reuse of an existing building is a primary credo of sustainability. Most soft-story buildings destroyed in the Loma Prieta and the Northridge Earthquakes went into landfills. Repairing and/or replacing soft-story buildings damaged in earthquakes is a tremendous burden on the Earths resources. Retrofitting an existing soft-story building to prevent its being destroyed in earthquakes is one of the most sustainable activities a building owner can undertake.