Soft Story Seismic Retrofit

West Coast Premier Construction has established itself as a leading design-build contractor in providing evaluation, engineering and construction services for seismic retrofit of soft story apartment buildings. We have retrofitted over 250 soft story buildings (construction completed and signed off by the City). WCPC is currently providing soft story seismic retrofit plans and construction on several multi story apartment and condominium buildings located throughout the Bay Area cities including Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley and Alameda. These seismic safety improvements are intended to comply with the City’s recently adopted soft story seismic ordinance. Soft, weak or open-front wall buildings, referred to as “Soft Story buildings” are seismically vulnerable wood framed multi-unit multi-story apartments or condominiums which have tuck-under garage parking provisions and openings at the first (ground) level walls.

Contact our company if you wish to comply with Mandatory Soft Story Program, or need assistance with retrofit of your building. Cost effective soft story seismic retrofit engineering design and construction strengthening measures are implemented by WCPC which significantly improve the earthquake resistance of the buildings without a loss of use of the parking space or the compromise of the building aesthetics. After the retrofit, the property is removed from the city’s inventory list of soft story hazardous buildings. Please refer to the Projects Completed section of our website for a partial list of recent soft-story seismic retrofit projects completed to date. Our company provides soft story screening and evaluation, soft story seismic retrofit engineering design or soft story engineering and construction (design/build). We also provide construction for retrofit design provided by other engineering companies. Contact us if your looking for soft story retrofit Engineer; competitive soft story retrofit costs; soft story retrofit construction. Please contact our company (510) 271-0950, for further information.

In Oakland, Soft Story Seismic Ordinance #13516 was adopted into Law in January 2019. Multi-unit wood framed buildings permitted before 1991, five units or more, two stories or more with a “Target Story”  must meet the retrofit requirements of the Ordinance within a six-year program. The program groups potential soft story buildings into three compliance Tiers: Tier, I, II and III.  We can provide full engineering design, City permit submittals and full construction for cost effective seismic retrofit of these buildings. 

In San Francisco, we are currently providing structural evaluation, engineering design and complete construction for mandatory soft story apartment and condominium buildings in accordance to the Ordinance # 66-13 and the San Francisco Exciting Building Code Chapter 4D. These are critically vulnerable buildings with 5 dwelling units or more, 3 story or more, built before 1978, Type-V wood framed construction with wall lines, or structural conditions characterized by soft, weak or open-front (SWOF) walls and a “Target Story” extending above grade whose wall configuration is substantially different from the wall configuration of the story above. We complete the screening forms and submit the screening forms to San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI) before the deadline for:

  • Tier I Buildings; Group A, E, R2.1, R3.1 or R-4 Occupancy on any story.
  • Tier II Buildings; 15 or more dwelling units.
  • Tier III Buildings; Not falling within definition of another tier.
  • Tier IV Buildings. That contain a Group B or M occupancy on first story and that are in mapped liquefaction zone, except for Tier I buildings.

See our Projects Completed in San Francisco for Soft Story Buildings completed there.

Symposiums on Seismic Soft-Story Engineering and Construction – Our company Principal, Dr. Homy Sikaroudi is regularly invited as speaker in seismic retrofit symposiums and real estate trade expos. The pictures below are from a soft story symposium hosted by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Company at Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco in May 2013, where Homy Sikaroudi was one of the key note speakers.

Dr. Homy Sikaroudi During Soft Story Panel Presentation
Dr. Homy Sikaroudi During Soft Story Panel Presentation
Soft Story Panel from left to rigth: Patrick Ottellini-Director of Earthquake Safety, San Francisco, Homy Sikaroudi-West Coast Premier Construction, Ned Fennine- Architect
Dr. Homy Sikaroudi – Soft Story Panel Presenter at Westin St. Francis Hotel,
San Francisco May 7, 2013