Earathquake Retrofitting Thousand Oaks
You might not think you live in earthquake state, but at least 42 states are considered at moderate to very high earthquake risk. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming have all been hit with a 4.0 or above magnitude earthquake since 2003.
Some of the largest earthquakes have been in our backyard (California). You may recall seeing the news during the 1989 Loma Pieta earthquake in northern California, which measured 7.1 magnitude. The destructive quake caused 63 deaths, 3,757 injuries and $6 billion in property damage. Five years later, southern California was hit with a major earthquake. The Northridge earthquake had a 6.7 magnitude and was felt for 2,000 square miles. The quake killed 60 people, injured 11,000, left 20,000 homeless and damaged more than 40,000 buildings.
Soft Story Homes in Thousand Oaks
Soft-story structures, popular on the West Coast, are typically multi-story residential buildings built above a ground-level garage, tuck-under parking garage or a storefront. Their mixed use design often means wider openings and fewer partition walls on the first story than on the upper stories, leaving soft-story buildings structurally vulnerable in the event of a major earthquake. During the 1971 San Fernando, 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes, soft-story buildings sustained major damage or collapsed entirely.
For years, cities on the West Coast have recommended soft-story retrofit upgrades for thousands of residential structures to increase building resiliency. Cities such as San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles have already passed laws that require a mandatory retrofit for certain soft-story residential buildings, and many other cities are following suit.
The soft-story retrofitting process may seem complicated, but we have provided information for each step along the way. Whether you are a building owner, engineer, architect, contractor or inspector, we have useful information to help you navigate your soft-story retrofit from the beginning stage of receiving a mandate letter to the latter stage of implementing a soft-story retrofit solution.