On January 17, 1994, the Northridge Earthquake struck Reseda. While commonly referred to as the Los Angeles earthquake, the epicenter was actually in this smaller suburb. What made the 1994 earthquake all the more tragic is that the area had been hit by another strong earthquake, in 1971. To this day, the Northridge Earthquake is the only earthquake to originate directly under a city in modern times. The result was as expected. Over 60 people died and over 9000 were injured. Bridges and overpasses were affected. Sewage and drainage were affected. The result was a final, sober wake up call that Reseda and all of the Los Angeles area needed to change its building codes to prevent such wide spread damage from happening again. The result for new buildings was simple. But for older buildings, it took some time. It’s important to find an experienced Reseda retrofit company to help make older buildings safe for the future.
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 builds were better able to withstand the extreme force of a major earthquake. As for existing buildings, while it was agreed that these too should be built better, how that was to happen took a lot longer.
But now, with the soft story retrofit program, all of Reseda will be 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 garaged that, again, have large open spaces.
Too much space, and there may not be enough support for upper levels of a building. The soft story 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. Reinforced shear walls will better help with stronger earthquakes. Parking garages may need more steal beams or concrete pillars to make sturdier spaces.
Don’t worry if this all seems confusing. A trusted Reseda retrofit contractor will help you understand the construction details, without giving you too many technical terms. Your path to a safer home is easy to follow.
Reasons for Retrofit
The most obvious reason for a building retrofit is to make it safer in the future. While it’s impossible to predict when the next earthquake will happen, all are agreed that another major one is bound to happen soon. So, as a building owner, it’s important to take the next steps to ensure that you provide somewhere safe for the people that live there.
Those living in Reseda 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 a qualified soft story retrofit contractor in Reseda. Choose someone who knows the area, has a proven track record, and who cares about quality construction.
Retrofitting 360 can help you through the entire process. From the beginning, initial survey that will give you a detailed outline of what to expect for construction, to the retrofit itself, and final the end, 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 is signed off 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.