SOFT & WEAK STORY RETROFIT

GENERAL

Soft and Weak Story structures are those with a relative lack of strength or stiffness in the first floor and have gained infamy in recent years due to San Francisco's Mandatory Soft Story Ordinance. The mechanism is a commonplace vulnerability, especially in seismically active regions like the Bay Area. To identify Soft Story structures in San Francisco, consult the Department of Building Inspection's list of properties -- or ask us.

NEXT STEPS

After an on-site consultation and obtaining As-Built drawings of your structure, we will prepare structural drawings and a calculation package to submit to the City Municipality. Upon being awarded, we observe progress and address any problems that come up during construction. 

Image: FEMA P-807 

TIMELINE

Tier I and II buildings should already have submitted for a building permit. Tier III buildings should submit by September, with two years to complete the physical construction.

MISSED DEADLINES & PENALTIES

If you missed the deadline as a Tier 3 building, you should expect to receive a Violation Notice in mid-October, and your building will also receive a placard identifying it as a non-compliant Soft Story structure. The first violation is just a warning with a 1-2 month deadline to get a permit.

The penalties increase later, with a $52 monthly deadline, an assessed fee, and the inability to pass along construction costs to tenants through increased rent. There will also be a Director's Hearing in which the owner must come before a hearing officer and explain why they haven't complied.

(This information from SFDBI.org website)

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