San Francisco's Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Ordinance requires the evaluation and seismic retrofit of hundreds of San Francisco buildings that are classified as "multi-story soft-story buildings." A typical building of that type is an apartment building with a row of garage doors at street level. In buildings constructed prior to 1978, the structure of that ground floor - the "soft story" - may not have been adequately engineered to withstand the forces of a significant earthquake.
Because these buildings are more likely than others to suffer severe damage during an earthquake, the law requires them to be evaluated by a licensed engineer or architect. If a building of that general type is found to meet the requirements, it MUST be retrofitted with seismic upgrades. Depending on the type of building and its location in the city, the deadline for completion of seismic retrofit work ranges from September 15, 2017, to September 15, 2020.
If you're reading this article, there's a good chance that you have received a notice from the City of San Francisco, informing you of the ordinance and asking you for some information, on this form. The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection has further information about the program here.
Please call or e-mail us to find out how we can work with a structural engineer or architect to help you meet the requirements of this program.