Investing in Soft-Story Retrofit: A Smart Move

If you own a multi-story building, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of soft-story collapse and the importance of retrofitting your property. In this blog post, we’ll briefly explain what soft-story retrofit is and why it’s so important.

A soft-story building is a multi-story structure in which one or more floors have significantly weaker support than the floors above or below them. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common cause is the inclusion of large openings on the ground floor (for example, garage doors or storefronts) that reduce the overall strength of the building. 

During an earthquake, the upper floors of a soft-story building can swing back and forth like a pendulum, putting immense stress on the lower floors and causing them to collapse. This can lead to serious injury or even death for people inside the building, as well as damage any adjacent properties. To mitigate this risk, many localities now require that soft-story buildings be retrofitted with additional supports to reinforce their structure. 

There are various ways to retrofit a soft-story building, but the most common method is to install steel collagen plates on the weakest walls and connect them to the floor joists with steel pins or rods. This limits the amount of movement that can occur during an earthquake and helps prevent collapse. 


If you own a soft-story building, it’s important to understand the dangers it poses and take steps to protect your property—and your tenants—by retrofitting it. This blog post provided a brief overview of what soft-story retrofitting is and why it’s so important; if you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us today. Thank you for reading!