San Fernando Soft-Story Retrofit Contractor

San Fernando is one of LA’s many suburbs. It is located northwest of the metropolitan area. The city was named after the historic Mission San Fernando Rey de España that was built in 1797.  Originally the area was used for citrus orchards due to its close proximity to the reservoir. Later clothing manufacturers and electronic companies made the area their base of operations. As a suburb of Los Angeles, the city is part of the mandatory retrofit program. San Fernando soft-story retrofit contractors can be found throughout the area striving to make the city safer.

On January 17, 1994, residents of California were rudely awakened to powerful shaking that quickly destroyed all manner of structures. From highway overpasses to utility lines, from houses, to apartments, the earthquake left whole city blocks in ruins and took the lives of 60 people. As a result, the city of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, took measures so that existing buildings would be spared the next time a major earthquake happened. The main types of buildings affected by the new building codes are soft-story structures.

What is a Soft Story Building?

Any building that has three or more stories and that is built over a ground level is included in a soft story building. The ground level will have windows and doors and possible commercial spaces. To achieve this structure, a shear wall will have been built to add stability to the overall building. There are many soft story buildings in Los Angeles and San Fernando, many of which have been designated at risk if another major earthquake should happen. 

The first floor of a building will not have sufficient shear walls. This means that were the ground to shake, the floors could begin to collapse on each other. Other floors, such as parking garages, have open spaces and the beams around the parking spaces are simply not strong enough to withstand high-magnitude earthquakes. A qualified San Fernando soft-story retrofit contractor will create a design that is catered to your building’s needs.

While all buildings built after 1994 have been done so to higher safety measures, buildings older than this, will have been subjected to different codes. As a result, they are not safe to be in when an earthquake happens. Recognizing that another major earthquake is imminent, various California city councils have begun to enact legislature to make retrofitting mandatory for such at-risk buildings. By putting in a bit of work now, the hope is that many lives will be saved in the future.

Process

The deadline to have your retrofit completed is quickly approaching. But, don’t worry. San Fernando soft-story retrofit contractors, such as Retrofitting 360, well help guide you through the entire process. The end date for completion of the retrofit is by 2022, but a lot needs to happen before everything is completed. First, an assessment needs to be done so that the scope of the project is clear. Retrofitting could involve more shear walls, or it could include a new steel frame. Permits need to be issued and then construction can commence. 

At the end of the project, inspections and final reports will be completed. The point is that in order to actually be done by the deadline, this whole process needs to start as soon as possible. Retrofitting 360 contractors understand the city ordinances and specialize in soft story apartment buildings. Efficient, knowledgeable, practical, and professional; you can expect all this from Retrofitting 360. Remember that the next big earthquake isn’t a question of if it will happen, but when it will happen. Be prepared so that you can keep your home safe, your valuables secured, and most importantly, keep yourself protected.