JN Engineering, Inc.

Soft Story & Seismic Retrofit

Soft Story

Soft Story Retrofit

Soft story retrofit is the process of reinforcing a building’s quake-vulnerable floor/floors to make the entire structure more resistant to the shear forces present during an earthquake.rsz_2picmonkey_collage123

Examples of soft stories:

• Ground or lower floors that have been turned into tuck-under parking without appropriate reinforcements.
• Ground or lower floors turned into office floors, where individual offices are divided by glass partitions.
• Ground or lower floors with sweeping, floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
Why Retrofit Soft Stories — and Why Do It Now?

Soft stories are an earthquake hazard and they could lead to a very substantial loss of investment, profit and lives. If the sideways movement during an earthquake is particularly strong, the weak supports in the soft stories could give way. This, in turn, would cause the upper floors to fall onto the lower floors, thereby crushing whatever or whoever is on those lower levels. This type of structural failure is known as “pancake collapse.”






If your building has soft stories, get it retrofitted as soon as possible. The following are some of the reasons why prompt action is advised:

-Minimize liability loss
-Lower earthquake insurance premiums, save on interest
-Save moneyFor more information on Soft Story Ordinance in Los Angeles click here. Los Angeles City Ordinance for Soft Story