Soft Story and More – Why Do Building Fail

 

 

? Which buildings in your community are dangerous?

The large number of fatalities and damage here was greater than anticipated and can be attributed to several factors:

• A large portion of Mexico City is situated on an ancient sea bed and the underlying soil is very soft. This causes the amplification of ground motion to the built infrastructure. So although there are no faults in the city, events from far-away earthquakes are amplified and can generate large forces.

• After the 1985 earthquake, the building codes were modified and include good ductile detailing. However, compliance with the code is not always enforced, especially in outlying areas, and, in many cases, residents make alterations and additions to the buildings that can after alter these structures’ earthquake resistance.

• Damage assessment data from this earthquake is yet not available. However, preliminary data indicates that a large number of buildings with significant damage used either unreinforced masonry (URM) bearing walls or reinforced concrete construction of older vintage. These building types (especially with a soft/weak story or torsion) are most susceptible to earthquake damage and collapse.

• This event had a long duration for strong motion, resulting in buildings being subjected to a large number of shaking cycles.

Read Miyamoto’s official tech report on the Sept. 19 Mexico earthquake that collapsed at least 44 buildings in far-away Mexico City alone.

Raboso, Mexico 7.1 – 2017 Earthquake Tech Report

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Earth quake is a reality and it can happen anytime. Did you know?

 What level of retrofit is required?

Pursuant to LABC Section 3405.3, the damaged bearing walls shall be repaired to support the dead and live load combinations of the current Code. Other floor joists, walls, and foundations that support loads from the repaired bearing walls are required to be repaired and replaced when not capable of supporting the dead plus current live load combination.

 Find out how Foundation Technology can assist you to meet the requirements and pass your evaluation with flying colors!

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 To  learn  more  about  Foundation  Technology  and  the  services  we  offer Visit us on line at: https://foundationtechnology.com/ or call: 855.650.2211

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Soft Story

“But what about my tenants?”

 

That’s one of the first questions most building owners will ask when they receive the notice to comply with their city’s seismic retrofit ordinance.

And it’s a legitimate question to ask. You have people living in your building. You may have retail space on the ground floor or office space where people are on the job every day. Your commercial tenants can’t just stop working. Your residential tenants should not be expected to find another place to live.

Your city’s Building Department knows your tenants’ point of view. Before the construction process even starts, you’ll need to have a plan in place to communicate with your tenants. This plan will detail exactly what the construction process entails and what kind of disruption your tenants might experience. Because if one tenant complains, your construction process could be delayed and that costs you both time and money.

The good news is—we take care of that plan. And the plan we design puts the needs of your tenants first. Here are some of the things your tenants will want to know:

  • When will the process start?
  • When will it be finished?
  • Will we have water, electricity, sewer, and other services during the process?
  • What days and hours will workers be on the premises?
Soft Story

Why Now

From your point of view as a building owner or manager, there are a few more things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, you may need to notify your tenants as much as 60 days in advance of when you plan the project to begin. There’s a period of time for them to appeal your plan, usually 15 days. You will have a specific period of time to complete the project and if the work is not done, you may be required to relocate tenants at your expense. It’s our goal to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Soft-story retrofitting, done properly, improves the safety and value of your property now and into the future. Go with the pros. Select a firm that has broad experience in this construction specialty. Foundation Technology is the go-to solution for your soft-story project.

 

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Earth quake is a reality and it can happen anytime. Did you know?

The following example illustrates how to determine if a newer building, constructed to the current Code, has sustained substantial structural damage and determine repair requirements for earthquake damaged building. The building does NOT require retrofitting.

Example 4 – Modern Building with Substantial Structural Damage: A timber single-family- dwelling built in 2015 wood shear walls experienced structural cracking of several plywood shear walls on the first floor. The engineer’s report identified the damaged wall will reduce the cumulative strength of the lateral load resisting system by 25%. The engineer’s evaluation shows that the pre- damaged building strength was compliant with the current Code.

 Is there Substantial Structural Damage?

Part 2 of the definition of Substantial Structural Damage for “All Other Buildings” needs to be used for a timber building. The report concluded the damaged walls constitutes more than 20% of the pre-damaged condition of the lateral force resisting system in the first story. Therefore, the damage to the building is Substantial Structural Damage.

 Is retrofit required?

As per LABC Section 3405.2.2 repairs shall be done to restore the building to the pre-damaged status.  Strengthening beyond the current Code is not required.

 What design criteria may be used for repairs?

Repairs are permitted to restore the building to its pre-damage state, using material properties and design strengths applicable at the time of the original construction. All new structural members, connections and detailing used for this repair shall comply with provisions of this Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose and location.

Find out how Foundation Technology can assist you to meet the requirements and pass your evaluation with flying colors.

 To  learn  more  about  Foundation  Technology  and  the  services  we  offer Visit us on line at: https://foundationtechnology.com/ or call: 855.650.2211

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Earth quake is a reality and it can happen anytime. Did you know?

Buildings with Substantial Structural Damage to Vertical Elements of the Lateral Force- Resisting System

 Section 3405.2 through 3405.2.3 describes the requirements for damage evaluation and the triggers for seismic retrofit of earthquake damaged buildings:

Section 3405.2 – Substantial Structural Damage to Vertical Elements of the Lateral Force- Resisting System

 A building that has sustained substantial structural damage to the vertical elements of its lateral force-resisting system shall be evaluated and repaired in accordance with the applicable provisions of Sections 3405.2.1 through 3405.2.3.

 Find out how Foundation Technology can assist you to meet the requirements and pass your evaluation with flying colors.

Download PDF

 

To  learn  more  about  Foundation  Technology  and  the  services  we  offer Visit us on line at: https://foundationtechnology.com/ or call: 855.650.2211

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How the Right Foundation Repair Method Can Help Save Your House from Sinking

Los Angeles lies a few miles from the San Andreas fault, which makes it highly susceptible to earthquakes. Because of this, most cities in the area have implemented ordinances that require the inspection and retrofitting of buildings, or foundation repair for those that need it. Non-compliance with the city ordinances can result in fines, or, in the worst violations, the closure of businesses and revocation of business licenses.

Many contractors that perform foundation repair in Los Angeles, however, use methods that do not fully protect against the effects of earthquakes.

For example, standard methods involve the total replacement of damaged foundations with new ones. While a new foundation is meant to be a protective measure against sinking, it does not address groundwater saturation, which occurs after a period of heavy rain. It also does not protect it against the effects of soil liquefaction, which happens when saturated soil is shaken strongly, as in an earthquake. In areas where silt has been deposited, such as the alluvial floodplains formed by the old Los Angeles River, the ground could be unstable and can easily be liquefied if an earthquake is strong enough.

The only sure way to secure your house’s foundation is to connect it directly to the bedrock below it. To do this, helical piers and anchors are screwed in mechanically, up to a certain depth where bedrock can be found. Once the piers have reached the bedrock, steel brackets are mounted to support the foundation, giving it near-permanent stability that bypasses the effects of soft soil.

This method is ideal for soils such as sand, silt, and clay. It is also recommended for housing developments where the ground is usually compacted fill soil from nearby hilltops. The presence of vegetation, particularly larger trees, is also indicative of a prime candidate for this method, as trees put down roots that pull up water from the soil, making it dry out and shrink gradually.

The key to a stable house is a secure foundation. Protecting your foundation by applying the correct method will let you sleep better at night, knowing that you will not see cracks or sinking when you wake up.

For professional foundation repair or retrofitting services in Los Angeles, call the experts. Foundation Technology is a leading foundation repair company that’s backed by an experienced team, and offers in-house financing and a 25-year transferrable warranty to our clients. Contact us today and ask us about our 100% free, no-obligation inspection services.

 

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Earthquakes are a fact of life in California. As a business owner, you have an extra responsibility to protect your employees and your business from the dangers that can occur during an earthquake. The best way to accomplish this is by taking precautions before an earthquake ever strikes.

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Part of enjoying the California life involves dealing with the unpredictability of earthquakes. Unfortunately, you never know when one might strike, which is why it’s important to follow the steps outlined below to help protect your home and your family from an earthquake in California.

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