Retrofitting For Earthquakes

soft story retrofitting for earthquakes

California is well known for its miles of sandy beaches and mild weather. However, it is not surprising that it also has a critically high seismic activity among any state of the country. If you own a property, it does not matter it is an office building or an apartment complex, you will want to be sure can your building resist to damaging effects of earthquakes, and you will want to know what is retrofitting for earthquakes? For making sure your property is safe you may need a service of seismic retrofitters.

California is such a seismically active state, it just a matter of time - when a quake is going to strike next? If you want to learn more about it, in our previous article the forecast map of the frequency of massive earthquakes is presented. So if you are a property owner, it is your responsibility to know whether it is up to current safety codes or a hazard for your tenants.

Seismic Retrofit Cost In Los Angeles

Taking into consideration the variety of sizes of these types of constructions, it may be tempting to just pick the least expensive contractor. To get the job done well, you will probably want to hire seismic retrofitters, who specialize in the soft story retrofitting. So, before figuring out and making sure about the total cost of all the components, such as labor, permits, materials, and so on, get a few estimates by Army of Builders and for more exact information just contact us.
It will make you decide easily if you think of a retrofit as an investment. You should think in another way: that your future savings and your safety are more important than the cost of a project.
If you are in Los Angeles, let the Army of Builders take care of your future and our professional company will do your seismic retrofitting.

Soft-Story Retrofit Inspection

A qualified contractor or an engineer will be needed for the initial retrofit inspections of any seismic retrofitting project in Los Angeles. Army Of Builders, as well as some other companies, are offering this service for free, so take the advantages for some saving. Proceeding the inspections, they will look at different areas of the property to find out where the weaknesses are.

  • Foundation - The foundation is one of the most important areas of any kind of structure. As well as, the foundation is an area, which often (usually) shows the most obvious indications of seismic damages.

  • Basement - If your building has a basement or crawl space, the things that inspectors could be checking may include signs of water damage, that can harm the structure, water control systems, and so on.

  • Framing - Next to the foundation, a building’s frames are usually betraying the possible instabilities of structure. 

  • Roof - Another important part of the inspection is the roof. The structural engineers check the roof surface, looking for any leaks, as well as checking the conditions of the gutters.

What about city inspections? Once all the works are done, it will need to be inspected by a city official. This should be taken care of by the retrofitting company you had hired. SO after all when a city engineer finds your property matching to the work plan on the file you will be issued a Certificate of Completion.

soft story retrofit inspection

First Consultation

After the inspections are all done, the engineer is writing up a detailed report, which is going to include a list of the areas that are at risk during seismic activity. So the engineers should have a detailed plan of the work that needs to be completed, a rough calculation of the cost, options fr various methods of retrofitting your building, and after all, a timeframe about the terms of retrofit jobs. Then you will have a phone call to schedule the first consultation whenever all the information is put together and you will decide are you hiring them for the job or no.

Seismic Retrofit Process

Depending on the number of factors, it will be determined how much work must be done, or long it will take. A seismic retrofit process depends on the weight of the building, or how close is it located to a fault line, and the highest hypothetical magnitude, the fault line can experience.
Now the three main and basic methods will be listed below, which are used in all retrofitting projects:

  • Steel Cantilever Column System - The cantilever l-beams now are considered the most used soft-story retrofitting system. They usually are more affordable than adding shear walls or special moment frames.

  • Shear Walls - shear walls are used for keeping the whole building from swaying during a massive earthquake and also for strengthening the structure overall. The walls of the building will move because of any seismic event, due to which there is a chance the building can separate from its foundation. 

  • Special Moment Frames - These moment frames are among the best solutions for most earthquake retrofits. They can be delivered flat shipped or already assembled and there are a variety of sizes.

steel cantilever column system for retrofit construction

Who is Army Of Builders?

Army of Builders is one of the leading retrofitting services in Los Angeles. We have been in business with over 40 years of construction experience and have completed hundreds of retrofits across the city of Los Angeles.

Besides our main mission, which is the focus on the delivery of outstanding results for our clients, we also provide the retrofitting process as stress-free as it is possible, plus, our team of professionals is always there with you every step of the way.