Just northwest of the bustling city of Los Angeles is Santa Clarita. Its past is filled with adventure. From Native American settlements to the gold rush, Santa Clarita has played an important part of California history. Unfortunately, one part of California life that Santa Clarita cannot escape is that of earthquakes. January 17, 1994, and the Northridge Earthquake hit the San Fernando Valley, forever changing the way people thought about Mother Nature. Santa Clarita Retrofit Company, Retrofitting 360, has helped to create buildings that can withstand any future major earthquakes.
As a result of the Northridge Earthquake, many buildings collapsed or were deemed unsafe to re-enter. Even bridges and overpasses were affected. It was quickly seen that current building codes were not strong enough to withstand the powerful earthquakes prone to the area.
The result was that all new buildings needed to be built in much more stable manners. However, the issues of what to do with existing buildings has long been a subject of debate. While it was agreed that older buildings would need to be retrofitted, it took a while to decide just what that meant. Finally, city legislators have come up with rigid guidelines, including the soft story retrofit program.
Soft Story Retrofit Program
There are many types of buildings, and one category is a soft story building. These are buildings that have three or more levels. They also have a ground floor that has open space, doors, and windows. So, if your apartment building has a large commercial space on the ground floor, or a parking garage, it falls under the category of a soft story building.
There are many such buildings in Santa Clarita. All buildings were surveyed and those that need to comply with the mandatory retrofit program were sent notices. They have until 2022 for everything to be completed. Given the amount of time it can take to issue permits and begin construction, 2022 is not very far into the future.
Reasons for the Program
At its most basic level, the reason for the soft story retrofit program is to save lives. Unfortunately, more than 60 people were killed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and over 9000 people were injured. With better planning, it is hoped that another major earthquake will not be as disastrous.
There is also the issue of liability. As a building owner, you are responsible for the construction and maintenance of your structure. Indeed, after the Northridge earthquake, relatives of those lost in the damage were able to sue building owners for maintenance negligence. Don’t let this happen again.
If you have received a notice to be in the mandatory retrofit program, the first step is to find a qualified soft story retrofit company in Santa Clarita. Retrofitting 360 can help you. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation. We will come out to your building for a detailed inspection.
As we are well versed in all of the construction and building codes, we can survey your building and let you know what your options are. We know that cost is always a factor, as is time. Hopefully we can provide at least two ways to get you to where you need to be.
There are some basic construction projects to consider. Large, open ground floors will need sheer walls to better prop up floors above. Parking garages also have wide spaces in them, so more support beams are usually a good option for added support. Whatever needs to be done, the Santa Clarita retrofit company, Retrofitting 360, will break everything down for you so that you know what needs to be done.
Along the way, we will process the necessary permits and schedule city inspectors. No project can be deemed completed until a city inspector has come out. This is a giant undertaking, and everything needs to be done perfectly.
At the end, you will receive approval from the city. We want to make sure that this is as fast and easy a process as possible. We will work with you to make the construction go smoothly. We know that people will still be living in the building, and their lives are important. Disruptions will be at a minimum. Together, we can help get your building ready for the next big earthquake.