What Is Commercial Seismic Retrofitting?

A commercial seismic retrofit provides existing structures with increased resistance earthquake resistance. In buildings, this process typically includes strengthening weak roof-to-wall joints, continuity ties, shear walls, and the roof diaphragm. In the past, building codes were less stringent compared to today’s standards, so it’s advised to inspect buildings constructed prior to 1998.

We offer commercial seismic retrofitting to properties in Los Angeles and surrounding cities in Southern CA, Contact California Foundation Works for a Free* Estimate & Inspection today!

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

Here are some techniques used when retrofitting these structures:

  • Roof to wall anchors

  •  Anchor ties across the building

  •  Roof nailing

  •  Shear wall bracing

  • Anchor plates

  • Soft Story Reinforcement

Why have seismic retrofitting on your commercial property? Here are just a few reasons:

Reduced earthquake insurance premium.

Easy to sell – More buyers and investors will be attracted to the security a seismic retrofitted structure provides tenants.
More investors translates into more money for you!

Reduced risk of injury.
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Commercial Properties

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Commercial Retrofitting

soft story retrofitting

Soft Story Complex

There are a variety of Commercial Seismic Retrofitting methods. The approach taken depends on your type of structure:

Soft story under apartment buildings:

These buildings have an exposed first floor, which serves as a parking area, and usually houses living or business quarters above it. These buildings are vulnerable during an earthquake, ass their instability makes them susceptible to damage or all-out collapse. Strengthening these buildings usually involves adding a steel moment frame, concrete footing, and draglines to keep the first floor from rotating and collapsing. In apartment buildings, shear walls are commonly added to the existing walls on the interior areas of the parking stalls.

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Un-reinforced masonry:

A seismic retrofit for this type of building typically involves adding roof-to-wall connections, continuity ties, and installing a new plywood overlay on the roof.

Concrete Tilt-Up & Reinforced Masonry Structures:

A retrofit for this type 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 exert a great deal of force when they move in an earthquake. The main purpose of a retrofitting for these buildings is to prevent the roof from cleaving and thus jeopardizing the integrity of the entire structure.

Concrete Buildings with 2 or more stories:

Due to their weight, these buildings exert a great deal of force onto themselves. A retrofitting to these types of concrete buildings involves the installation of combined modes such as concrete shear walls, caissons, steel columns and other types of strengthening systems. The goal with each method is to strengthen junctions of the structure, which provides increased strength and resilience.

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