Nestled in the San Fernando Valley is the bustling neighbourhood of Van Nuys. It is home to a busy airport, a bustling network of city parks, and a large commercial district. It is also, like all California towns, prone to earthquakes. While earthquakes are common in California, the big one on January 17, 1994, forever changed the landscape and buildings of California. After buildings started to crumble, it was quickly decided that new buildings needed to be built to more specific codes, and older buildings would need to be retrofitted to prevent further damage. And that’s where Van Nuys Retrofit Contractor can help.
Soft Story Program
While Van Nuys has its unique cultural make up, it is still part of the vast city of Los Angeles, and so must follow its building codes. After the 1994 earthquake, it was decided that many types of buildings would need to retrofit themselves to better withstand future earthquakes. While it has taken some time to iron out the details, there is now a soft story mandatory retrofit program.
A soft story building has three or more stories and is built over a ground level that has open space. This space could be a commercial outlet or even garage. The ground level would have doors and windows. In essence, an older soft story building does not have enough bottom support to withstand a major earthquake.
There are many possibilities to retrofit a soft story building. Van Nuys Retrofit Contractor will help to walk you through the options and survey your building to decide what will work best for your individual needs.
One possibility is to create or reinforce the number of shear walls in the bottom of a building. Parking garages can also be targeted, as they may need stronger beams to prop up further floors.
While the soft story retrofit program is mandatory, there are many reasons to undertake such a program. The bottom line is that as a building owner, you are responsible for the content of a building, including the lives that live there.
Unfortunately, the big earthquake in 1994 took the lives of people, many who lived in soft story apartment buildings. While no one could have predicted the magnitude of the earthquake, those who had loved ones perish, were left looking for answers. Some building owners were taken to court and found guilty for the building’s collapse.
With the soft story retrofit program well underway, it is imperative that all building owners affected start the process right away. It is unknown when the next major earthquake will hit, but everything needs to be done to get ready for it.
The first step is to contact a soft story retrofit contractor in Van Nuys. Find someone who knows the area, the building codes, and has a history of soft story retrofits. Representatives from the company will come to tour the building, take measurements and notes, and then consult with the new building codes.
Then, you will be given a few options. As always, time and cost will both play factors in what options are available. As a building owner, you will get to decide the ultimate path, but remember that your building needs to follow the updated city codes.
Once a path for retrofitting has been determined, the work will commence. Van Nuys Retrofit Contractors will work hard and do their best to minimize construction annoyances. Noise will be kept to a minimum and work hours won’t impede night time. Parking will be kept open and construction vehicles will do their best not to disrupt traffic. It is understood that people will still be living in the area during the retrofit process, and they will want to be disturbed as little as possible.
Once the final bit of retrofitting has been accomplished, city engineers will come out to offer final inspections. Each building needs to pass inspection as part of the soft story retrofit program, so all steps will have been taken to pass at the end.
Once your building’s retrofit has taken place, you can rest easy knowing that everything will be protected, including precious lives, in the event of another major earthquake.