Soft Story Buildings

Soft Story Buildings

As a homeowner, it is your duty to learn all about the peculiarities of your building and do what is appropriate to prevent collapse or damage. A soft story building is one of those structures that require extra care.

What is a Soft Story?

The term "soft story" refers to a level of a building that has a weaker lateral load or is much more flexible than the one above it, as well as below its foundations or floors (70% or more of reduction from one level to another, according to the modern definition by international building code). This condition can occur with any conventional construction and is generally associated with large wall openings or an exceptionally high crossbar height compared to adjacent floors. These soft stories can pose a grave risk in the event of earthquakes, financial responsibility, and safety.

Why Soft Story Retrofit?

The main reason for retrofitting soft story buildings is to prevent a catastrophe if another earthquake occurs. Other ideas are listed below.

Marketing Advantage:

Owners of buildings with a soft story are legally required to identify the inherent seismic instability of their structure to potential tenants. The building itself is indicated in the public inventory of urban buildings. With seismic adaptation, business owners can use higher rental and resale prices to control safe properties.

Lower Retrofit Costs:

Given the current state of the economy, building owners can take advantage of the significantly lower prices offered by seismic modification companies, for modernization. In the end, the weak demand for value-added services due to the slowdown in the housing market means lower prices. When the economy improves, you can bet that the cost of additional seismic services will accelerate as demand for them exceeds the supply of service providers in the city.

Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit:

As more and more states like California introduce a mandatory retrofit for soft stories, it's only a matter of time before other states should follow. You can bet that this will be necessary after the next earthquake (God forbid), which can happen at any time shortly. When a mandatory soft story retrofit is introduced, the cost of this particular service is likely to increase drastically, as building owners will try to mitigate the impact of the new commercial requirements.


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