Homeowners and commercial building owners often think that they have a lot of time to prepare for “the Big One” or a massive earthquake that could destroy lives and pose a risk to our safety. Unfortunately, the recent report released by the Seismological Research Letters may beg to differ. Read along and consider getting a soft story retrofitting for your building as soon as possible.
On July 13, 2020, the Seismological Society of America has revealed that the chance of a big earthquake along the San Andreas fault has tripled because of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that happened in Ridgecrest, California. The San Andreas fault, the main tectonic plate between the North American and Pacific plates, can produce a megaquake.
Maybe you are wondering. Why is an earthquake that happened a year ago increase the chances of a massive earthquake from happening? Well, this is because the 2019 earthquake has brought the Garlock fault closer to rupture. This increases the chance of an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or greater by 2.3% on the Garlock fault and a 1.15% chance of a large earthquake on the San Andreas fault. The Garlock fault may move more easily and could trigger an earthquake on the long San Andreas fault.
Soft Story Retrofitting into Play
This new study might be kind of scary and alarming because earthquakes can happen anytime, but there is something you can do. This is where soft story retrofitting may come into play. We don’t know for sure about how massive the damage can be when an earthquake arrives, but the least we can do as homeowners or commercial building owners is to prepare and do what it takes to minimize the damage and the casualty of the earthquake. One way you can do that is through soft story retrofitting or seismic retrofits.
Soft story buildings are essentially buildings where the ground floor may not be sturdy enough to support the succeeding stories and are therefore more prone to collapse in an event of an earthquake. The ground floor might be a parking space with full floors above it, meaning it has a weaker lateral load than the floors above it.
What you can do to prepare
Because of the new evidence, now more than ever, residential and commercial property owners have the responsibility for risk mitigation. They can do this by starting to look into retrofitting their buildings against seismic shakes and increase the resistance of the building. Without seismic retrofits, the building is more prone to structural failure, which can pose a threat to life and your building. Despite the abundance of larger multi-story apartments, many soft story buildings still exist until today. This is also the reason the Los Angeles Soft-Story Retrofit Program became mandatory, wherein the city has identified the most vulnerable buildings which are prone to damages and are required to have their buildings retrofitted within 7 years.
Luckily, the process of having your building retrofitted is now made easy with the help of soft story retrofit contractors. A project manager will be assigned to your property to manage time and budget. Teams are comprised of professional engineers and designers to create a unique plan specially designed to meet the retrofit needs of your property.
Soft story retrofit contractors can also help you with the tenant habitability plan, which is a document required before you can have your building retrofitted. Processing documents and permits can become tedious, but if you have the best contractor with 20 years of experience in the field, then your life will become a lot easier. Consider getting a retrofit for your building as soon as possible so that you will not only protect your investment, you can also help minimize the possible risks that the big one may inflict. We have a full team that can help you with the whole retrofitting process, from start to finish until the cost recovery.
Of course, the success of a project lies in having a great plan and drafting the economical plans with a cost-effective approach and design solution to make sure you are getting great value for what you pay for. Along with the high-quality delivery of the project are the convenience and the additional sense of safety for you and your tenants.
We can definitely be of your service! Call us today and our friendly representatives can cater to your questions about seismic retrofits. We also offer a free inspection to your property so contact us today and be a step closer to making your space a safer place to live.