Building Safety Expert Speaks on Soft Story Buildings

Posted April 1, 2015, under Blog

Buildings of This Type Not Safe in an Earthquake Says Building Safety Inspector

LOS ANGELES, CA: Julian Construction, Inc. (, a foundation construction and foundation repair company in the Los Angeles area, is taking up a new topic in the field of building safety. The company has spoken out many times about foundation maintenance as an important part of building safety, but today they brought up the issue of a type of building design which may lead to greater risk for the building’s occupants. A soft story building is a design where the ground floor has unsupported floors above it, due to a wide front window or other wide section of floor with no supporting beam under it. Soft story buildings are much more likely to cause the collapse of a building during an earthquake, and so form an important part of earthquake preparation according to the company.

soft story retrofit

According to Shawn Kyles, Julian Construction’s resident building safety inspector specialist, “Soft story buildings have one or more floors with large openings that would normally require a shear wall for stabilization. Types of soft story buildings include apartments built over a parking garage or retail businesses with large windows, as well as multi-level commercial structures with floors that have large spaces, windows and doors. The soft story buildings most likely to collapse are those built on street corners or unstable soil. However, any multi-level residential or commercial building with unreinforced ground floor openings is a potential hazard during a quake, especially buildings constructed between the 1960s and 1980s.”

The full text of Mr. Kyles’ article can be seen here.

Julian De La Torre, founder and owner of Julian Construction, stated: “We see these kinds of soft story buildings every day. Fortunately much more is known about the risks involved with this type of design now, so buildings today are built much more securely. But with older buildings, it is important to know the risks involved with soft story structural issues.”

Julian Construction owns its own company and is built on a “no middlemen” model – no salesmen, no subcontractors. When you work with Julian Construction you get the principals of the company and workers of Julian Construction under your home. The result is the highest quality work at affordable prices. They can be contacted by phone at 323 733-3377, by fax at 323 733-4477 or via their website, You can see tips and advice about home foundations on their blog.

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