Thousands of San Francisco homes have what is called a soft story, or a weaker first floor of a home, which could be in danger of collapsing when the next big earthquake strikes. In fact, the likelihood of an earthquake measuring 6.7 or greater striking the Bay Area in the next 25 years is 63%, according to the US Geological Survey.
Is Your Bay Area Home at Risk? In 2010, San Francisco passed a building code (AB – 094) for voluntary strengthening for soft story buildings.The definition of a soft-story building includes:
- A wood-frame building
- A home that was constructed before May 21, 1973
- A floor in which at least 50% is used for assembly, business, mercantile or storage/enclosed parking garage.
- A building that has been determined to have a Weak Story or Soft Story deficiency
The voluntary strengthening ordinance applies to buildings in San Francisco with less than five residential units. Buildings with two or more stories that contains five or more units, fall under the 2013 Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Soft Story Wood Frame Buildings.
San Francisco Bay Area homes may vary widely to the degree to which they need to be retrofitted, if at all. For individual homes, it depends on the type of construction, the quality of the original work, the current state of repair, the building’s location and the upgrades made to it since the property was built.
Contact Christopher Wells Construction today for your complementary Earthquake Preparedness appointment.