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Commercial Seismic Retrofitting

Seismic Retrofitting in Southern California and Structural Repairs for commercial buildings.

Typical Types of Buildings we Service:

• Unreinforced Masonry Buildings
• Historical Buildings
• Parking Structures
• Concrete Tilt-ups
• Multi Family Apartments / Soft Story / Parking with two stories or more

What is Commercial Seismic Retrofitting?

A seismic retrofit provides existing structures with more resistance to earthquake activity due to an earthquakes movements. In buildings, this process typically includes strengthening weak connections found in roof to wall connections, continuity ties, shear walls and the roof diaphragm. In the past, building codes were less stringent compared to today’s standards, thus it is a good idea to inspect buildings constructed prior to 1998.

There is a verity of retrofitting process for numerous types of structures:

1. Soft story under apartment buildings:

These buildings have an open first floor such as ground level parking or subterranean parking and second floor above with living or business quarters. These buildings perform inadequately in an earthquake due to the shear or overturning that can occur. Strengthening these buildings usually includes adding a steel moment frame, concrete footing and drag lines to keep the first floor from rotating and collapsing. For apartments, shear walls are commonly added to the existing walls on the interior areas of the parking stalls.

2. Un-reinforced masonry:

A seismic retrofit for this type of building typically requires adding roof to wall connections, continuity ties, and usually requires new plywood overlay on the roof. Some of these types of structure require a fix regarding their height over thickness of the wall.

We Provide commercial retrofitting to properties in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties.

Seismic retrofitting = Increasing the safety and security of a building.

Property owner, we would like to present the benefits by having your structure retrofitted:

1. Concrete Tilt-Up & Reinforced Masonry:

 A retrofit for these types of building generally includes adding roof to wall anchors, and continuity ties throughout the building. Sometimes due to the size and shape of the building, steel brace frames are added to the structure. The concrete tilt-up walls used in many commercial properties are very heavy and when they move in an earthquake, they exert a great deal of force. The main purpose of a retrofitting for these buildings is to keep the roof from pulling apart, especially at the outside.

2. Concrete Buildings with 2 stories & up:

 These buildings exert a great deal of force, due to the weight of the buildings. A retrofitting to these types of buildings typically includes a combination of concrete shear walls, Caissons, steel columns and many other types of strengthening systems. The idea is the same as far as strengthening connections and adding shear strength.

• Earthquake Insurance premium can be reduce
• Risk of injury is reduced.
• Easy to sell – More buyers and investors are attracted to the fact that the security that a seismic retrofitted structure will provides to tenants.
• More lenders means more buyers.

Here are some common steps that we do when we retrofit a structure:

• Roof to wall anchors
• Anchor ties across the building
• Roof nailing
• Shear walls bracing
• Anchor plates
Soft Story Reinforcement


Contact California Foundation Works for a Free Estimate & Inspection today!


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