Seismic Strengthening and Earthquake Retrofit Contractor
Seismic Upgrade & Earthquake Retrofitting Services for Orange County & Los Angeles Buildings
What is Earthquake/Seismic Strengthening?
“Earthquake Strengthening“, or “Seismic strengthening“, is the process of retrospectively bolting strengthening elements into existing buildings in order to make them more resistant to the stresses imposed on them during Seismic (earthquake) events, ground motion, or soil failure due to earthquakes since many buildings were built before regulations required them to meet safety requirements.
Motivated Reasons to Earthquake Strengthen:
- Minimize the risk of loss of life and use of building.
- Help reduce the cost of insurance and raise property values
- Easier to sell a building with the improvements than one that does not.
- Buildings that do not have a seismic retrofit are harder to qualify for a loan.
- The effects of earthquake building damage and/or fatalities due to building failure are more likely to happen without a seismic retrofit. Even though it is not required by California State Law it does provide protection during earthquakes which are prominent in California. With the economic welfare of California, it is wise to protect your investment instead of losing it.
- Seismic strengthened buildings have the capability to “bounce back” quicker due to the decreased repairs that would have to be done on affected buildings.
A Wise Investment
Seismic retrofitting to strengthen a building is not required by state law in California but it’s a very wise improvement/investment to make for several reasons.
- In having this reinforcement work completed can sometimes lower a building’s insurance rates.
- A properly reinforced building will also be easier to sell and more valuable than a similar property that hasn’t had seismic retrofit work done.
- The most important reason to complete seismic retrofit improvements on a building is to avoid loss of life during an earthquake. For many businesses, the repercussions of fatalities due to building failure are simply too great for the business to continue.
It’s All About the Connection Points
As in a residential retrofit, seismic retrofit work on a commercial building focuses on weak connection points. Walls usually require stronger connection to floors, the foundation and roof structural elements. Additional bracing is also usually required to improve a wall’s racking resistance, especially when large openings are present. Along with the installation of new anchor bolts and braces, A.L. Vineyard Construction, Inc. general contractors will inspect existing connection points and hardware, looking for corrosion, weakened joints and missing fasteners that weaken structural value and are in need of repair. Wood is still one of the best materials for earthquake-resistant construction since it is lightweight and more flexible than masonry. It is easy to work with and less expensive than steel, masonry, or concrete.
The cost to complete seismic retrofit work on a commercial building can vary greatly. Factors that determine the final cost include the accessibility of structural connection points, the condition of existing connections, braces and hardware, and the size of the building.
It should also be noted that seismic strengthening may trigger application of other building rehabilitation requirements such as those related to handicap access, asbestos, fire sprinklers, fire resistance, and egress.
Contact us now to discuss our services and your next earthquake retrofitting or seismic upgrade project in Los Angeles, Inland Empire and Orange County.
We provide services to the following communities: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Marina del Rey, Playa Del Rey, Rancho Palos Verdes, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, Culver City, Venice Beach, Westminster, Pasadena, Long Beach, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Mira Loma, Riverside, Corona, Ontario, Inland Empire, Orange County and Los Angeles County.