Earthquakes are one of the most devastating natural disasters that can happen today. They can cause building destruction in seconds, which is why you want to be better prepared for them if you're situated in an area that is vulnerable to earthquakes. Soft-story retrofitting helps with this by reinforcing various structures. If you use these tips, you can have more success with this process.
Find Out if It's Required
Before you get deeply involved in soft-story retrofitting for a building you own or manage, you first want to see if this structural improvement is needed to begin with. Not every building has to have it performed according to soft-story retrofit regulations in your area.
Find out what requirements your building has to meet in order for this process to be relevant. They may deal with the number of stories your building has, the materials that were used to construct it, and the age of your building.
See Where Potential Vulnerabilities Are
So that your soft-story retrofitting activities are more purposeful around your building, you need to figure out where there are potential vulnerabilities in regards to damage happening because of earthquakes. There might be a particular wall that needs more support or you may need more extensive structural restorations performed.
The only way you can truly pinpoint these vulnerabilities correctly is to talk to an engineer who's experienced with protecting structures against earthquakes. They'll perform inspections and then let you know how soft-story retrofitting needs to take place.
Hire an Architect for Regular Professional Oversight
Throughout this entire soft-story retrofitting process, you need to make sure it's professionally monitored to ensure the right structures are reinforced with quality materials that can hold up during an earthquake. An architect in particular is the perfect professional to hire for this regular oversight.
They can help in a lot of ways, such as recommending contractors that can take care of the reinforcing activities and also interject if there are potential issues that aren't being talked about. An architect will also see to it that this soft-story retrofitting is code-compliant at the end.
Soft-story retrofitting is an important service for buildings that are considered vulnerable to earthquake damage. If you think your property needs this service performed, make sure you weigh all relevant factors that go into this process and also take your time consulting with professionals that know what goals you need to achieve.