Pasadena lies northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The city is probably best known for the annual Rose Bowl. On January 1st, every year the big college football game is held at the Rose Bowl Stadium, with the annual Rose Parade held in the morning. For many families, watching the Rose Parade is a New Year’s Day tradition. The city also has a charming shopping and dining district in its center which is known for the Victorian and art deco buildings. When the Northgate Earthquake struck in 1994, Pasadena, like its surrounding neighbors was hit hard. And like many Los Angeles neighborhoods, Pasadena is also required to perform the mandatory soft-story retrofits by the issued deadline.
After the 1994 quake, city officials assessed the local areas buildings and structures in order to determine what could be done to make them more earthquake proof. It is not a matter of if another major earthquake will hit the San Fernando Valley, but a matter of when. Buildings that fall under the soft story classification were issued notices of the mandatory program with the deadline for many being the year 2022. While that may seem like a lot of time, there are a number of steps and permits needed, so the time to start is now.
What is a Soft Story Building?
After the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, 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 Pasadena 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 soft story retrofit contractor in Pasadena will help you understand the construction details, without giving you too many technical terms. Your path to a safer home is easy to follow.
What to do if you received a notice
Those living in Pasadena will have received notices if their building meets the criteria for the mandatory soft story retrofit program. The first step after receiving a notice is to contact an experienced retrofit contractor in Pasadena. Choose someone who knows the area, has a proven track record, and who cares about quality construction, like RetroFitting 360.
Retrofitting 360 can help you through the entire process. From the initial survey that will give you a detailed outline of what to expect for construction, to the retrofit itself, and the final inspection, we can help you get back to living a safe life.
Construction is never fun for those having to endure it while trying to live their lives. We will ensure that noise is at a minimum, parking isn’t disrupted, and that the job will get done quickly but safely. All permits will be acquired so that work doesn’t have to stop. There’s nothing worse than having a project forced to stop in the middle, thus delaying everything.
Once the retrofit project has been completed, a city official will need to sign off it to make sure the building now adheres to the updated city codes. It’s important that this inspection happens right away, so that you don’t have to worry about the retrofit project anymore. We are here to make your life safer and easier.