Some areas are more prone to earthquakes throughout the year and that means buildings around these locations need to be built strategically to withstand these seismic events. That's possible through soft-story retrofitting, which you can succeed with if you take a couple of precautions.
Put Ample Focus Into Preventing Side-to-Side Shaking
What you don't want to happen during an earthquake is for your building to shake a lot from side to side. That's probably going to cause the first floor to collapse and then subsequent floors if you have a multi-story building.
As such, a chief goal when completing soft-story retrofitting should be to keep side-to-side shaking from taking place or to a minimum. For instance, you could reinforce all of the walls on the first floor to prevent this shaking activity from causing major damage. This may seem extensive, but it's going to vastly improve your building's safety.
Consult With a Structural Engineer
An important professional to bring in on this retrofitting process from the start is a structural engineer. They can help you assess the current makeup of your building and ways to improve it for seismic activity caused by earthquakes.
Their insights will ensure you don't miss any important details, whether it's the materials your walls are made of or the support systems that need to be added to the existing framework of your building. You can trust their recommendations will truly make a difference in reducing damage during an earthquake.
Make Sure Retrofitting Passes Inspection
When you get finished with soft-story retrofitting for a commercial building, the next thing you need to focus on is having the building pass earthquake-related inspections. Then you know retrofitting was a success and will keep building damage to a minimum, as well as improve the safety for people inside the building during an earthquake.
If you aren't able to pass, don't take this to heart. You have the ability make the necessary improvements before it's too late. Just find out the reasons for not passing and then hire professional contractors to make improvements as quickly as possible.
One way you can make your building more prepared for earthquakes is to go through a process known as soft-story retrofitting. It can vastly improve the structural integrity of various systems. Just make sure you have it carried out according to the right standards so that these adjustments make a difference in improving building safety and reducing damage.