Burbank may be one of the more famous suburbs of Los Angeles. It is home to Warner Brothers, Disney, and Nickelodeon. Tourists will often plan a visit around Burbank, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite TV or movie star. Burbank, like all areas around Los Angeles, is aware of the imminent threat of earthquakes. On January 17, 1994, a major earthquake struck the area. It was responsible for taking the lives of 60 people, injuring 9000 others, and destroying infrastructure and transportation. The result was a call to Burbank retrofit contractors to help make the city safe again.
Earthquakes happen all the time in California, but the Northridge Earthquake was a demonstration that existing buildings needed to be changed if they were to withstand another major earthquake. The population boom and increase in building needs is a reality, so planning has to happen around city’s needs.
What is a Soft Story Building?
There are many types of building classifications, and it can be quite overwhelming for someone untrained to figure everything out. In a nutshell, a soft story building has at least three stories to it. The ground floor will consist of an open space, most likely a commercial setting. There will be doors and windows on the ground floor. Most likely there will also be a parking garage, again, with open spaces.
The problem that soft story buildings face with earthquakes is that there can be too much space and not enough support for higher levels. Within these spaces you can find what are called shear walls. These walls are built to withstand ground movements, like earthquake waves. However, if the shear walls are too thin, not placed correctly, or there are not enough of them, then damage can ensue.
Likewise, with parking garages, if there are not enough steal beams or concrete columns, then there might not be enough support for higher levels. While everything can be fine for day-to-day use, if a future earthquake happens to hit just under the buildings, then what is currently in place may not be enough.
Reasons to Retrofit
It might seem like spending a lot of time, money and effort to plan for a possibility in the future, but the chances of another big earthquake happening in California are very likely. California has always been home to earthquakes, thanks to its situation on the San Andreas Faultline. And now, thanks to the population boom and soaring construction, when a major earthquake hits there are more people and more buildings that can be destroyed.
As a building owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that the people that live in their homes are protected. You have final say over who you hire and who works on the building, which is why you should always choose a trusted Burbank retrofit contractor. Find someone who knows the area, knows all the building codes, and who can leave you satisfied knowing that you will be safe and secure.
The process for the soft story retrofit program can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. To begin with, you will have received a notice from the city stating that your building falls into this mandatory program. It’s important that you find a qualified soft story retrofit company in Burbank that will help with all your needs.
A company like Retrofitting 360 can walk you through the process, step by step, so that you understand what is being done, and why. Starting with the initial survey, we will show you what changes need to be made to the building, explain how long it will take, and why they are necessary.
Throughout the project every step will be taken to ensure that it is on time and on budget. We will work with city officials so that all permits are granted and there are no scheduling delays.
Finally, once the retrofit project has been completed, a city inspector will need to come by to make sure the building is now up to code. This can be a nerve wracking time, but it doesn’t have to be. We will have done everything to ensure that the project has been completed well and there are no further issues. Your building will be safe and you won’t have to worry about any future earthquakes.