California is known for moderate temperatures that allow for locals, and visitors, to enjoy the outdoors all year long. For this reason, the beaches along the Pacific Ocean are a huge attraction. South of the city of Los Angeles, lies the coastal town of Torrance. They boast over a mile of sandy beaches that offer cool sea breezes with very little humidity. With Torrance’s close proximity to the Los Angeles area, they also have the same chance that an earthquake can, and will strike. That is why Los Angeles city officials implemented the Soft Story Retrofit Program for the surrounding areas.
Like many communities around the city of Los Angeles, Torrance was affected by the Northgate Earthquake of 1994. After that major quake, Los Angeles city officials made many changes to their building policies. One of these was to implement a mandatory soft story retrofit program. If you own a building that was constructed before 1994, you have probably received a notice to bring your structure up to the current code. But don’t worry, there are a number of Retrofitting Contractors in Torrance, like RetroFitting 360, that will make the process virtually painless.
Retrofitting 360 services the greater Los Angeles area and they have plenty of experienced contractors to help you. They will be with you from the beginning to the end of the project and will work tirelessly to ensure that all of the work is completed on time, with a minimum of disruption to your neighbors.
What is a Soft Story Building?
After that major quake in 1994, city officials wanted to ensure that the widespread destruction wouldn’t happen again. As a result, building codes were changed so that all new construction would be better able to withstand the extreme force of a major earthquake. As for existing buildings they implemented a mandatory retrofit program to bring them up to current safety standards.
The soft story retrofit program will help to make all of Torrance a safe place in the event of an earthquake. Soft story buildings were quickly identified as being very vulnerable to earthquakes. These buildings have at least three stories to them. They also have large open ground floors that house commercial shops or restaurants. The open spaces will have doors and windows. There are also usually parking garages that have large open spaces.
These large, open spaces may not have enough support for upper levels of a building. The new retrofit program wants to make it so that these buildings can stay erect but be safe at the same time. Possible solutions include the increase use of shear walls. These walls are built to withstand movement from high winds or earthquake shocks. Parking garages may need more steel beams or concrete pillars to make sturdier spaces.
Don’t worry if this all seems confusing. A trusted retrofitting contractor in Torrance will help you understand the construction details, without giving you too many technical terms. Your path to a safer home is easy to follow.
The steps involved in a retrofitting
The first step is to have your building assessed by a professional soft-story retrofit contractor. They will come out and complete a thorough investigation and create a work plan if your building needs repairs. Once the work plan is put together, the next step is to apply for the building permits needed before any work can begin.
After the permits are issued, the contractor will oversee the project and work to make sure that it is completed in a timely manner. This could include adding more steel beams to any open spaces, or adding or extending sheer walls where needed. After the work is finished you will need to get it inspected by another professional, usually from the city.
Once the building passes the city’s inspection you will receive a full report of the completed project. As you can see, there are quite a few steps involved. The deadline to have the work completed and inspection done is 2020, so don’t waste time thinking about, contact a professional to get started today.