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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 retrofits 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.

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Navigate your soft-story retrofit project, from beginning to end, whatever your role

Soft-Story Retrofit Articles and News

With mandates and ordinances passed in a number of West Coast cities, soft-story retrofit headlines are more frequently seen in the news. Below are select articles on the topic that may be of interest.

Bay City News Service | S.F. Gate | 9/18/2017