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Pedram Zohrevand Explores Common Challenges With Soft Story Retrofits

author-img By Abdul Mondal 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

soft story building

Soft story retrofits are becoming increasingly necessary for many buildings located in earthquake-prone areas. But, as with any construction project, common challenges come with soft story retrofits, according to Pedram Zohrevand. This blog post will discuss some of the most common issues and suggest solutions to help you complete your soft story retrofit project.


Here Are Details About Common Challenges With Soft Story Retrofits

1) Accessibility Issues

Access is one of the biggest hurdles to clear when it comes to soft story retrofits. Completing a soft story retrofit can be difficult if a building has limited access or is hard to reach due to structural or space constraints. Some solutions include using scaffolding outside the building or high-reach lifts inside. Additionally, suppose there is not enough room for contractors and their tools in the building. In that case, modular construction systems can be built offsite and transported into the building once completed. 

2) Existing Structural Weaknesses

A soft story retrofit should be designed to reinforce existing structural weaknesses while at the same time avoiding causing further damage during installation. To do this, engineers must consider all existing conditions, such as plumbing lines and electrical wiring, when designing a retrofit solution. It’s also essential to select materials that are strong enough to withstand seismic forces but still lightweight enough not to put additional strain on existing structures. 

3) Unclear Building Records

Historical documents such as original blueprints may not always be available for older buildings, making determining exact details like materials or other structural components difficult. This can lead to guesswork, potentially resulting in an ineffective or unsafe solution if not handled correctly by experienced professionals. The best way around this is for engineers and contractors alike to thoroughly inspect the building before beginning work so that any potential problems can be identified and addressed before they become bigger issues down the line. 

4) Space Constraints

Soft-story retrofits require extra space between floors so that reinforcing new elements can be installed without interfering with current structures. This extra space must be considered when planning a soft story retrofit project. Doing so will have an impact on design decisions. Consider where reinforcements should go and what type of material should be used to maximize effectiveness without taking up too much space.

5) Cost Considerations

Soft story retrofits are often expensive projects due mainly in part because they require specialized knowledge and skill sets from both engineering professionals and contractors alike, as well as unique materials that may need to be sourced from particular suppliers who specialize in reinforced concrete products designed explicitly for seismic reinforcement applications. Additionally, since many buildings in earthquake-prone areas are older properties, they may need additional repairs unrelated to seismic safety but required before beginning work on any kind of retrofitting project, increasing costs even further.

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6) Limited Timeframe

Depending on local regulations, property owners may have limited timeframes within which they are required by law to complete their soft story retrofit projects. Hence, they must plan accordingly by starting early and ensuring local authorities obtain all necessary permissions beforehand. Additionally, it is essential to account for unforeseen delays and contingencies that may arise throughout a project. This includes considering factors such as traffic disruption from lane closures or bad weather conditions, which can all affect timelines and ultimately impact costs if deadlines are not met.

7) Permitting Requirements

In addition to construction permits, many local governments require property owners to obtain additional licenses for soft story retrofit projects. This can include planning and zoning approvals and those from the fire department to ensure that existing safety systems continue functioning correctly after any modifications have been made. Obtaining all necessary permits upfront will help ensure the project stays on time and within budget.  

8) Maintenance

Maintenance (1)

Depending on local regulations, property owners may have limited timeframes within which they are required by law to complete their soft story retrofit projects. Hence, they must plan accordingly by starting early and ensuring local authorities obtain all necessary permissions beforehand.  Additionally, it is crucial to account for unforeseen delays and contingencies that may arise throughout a project. This includes considering factors such as traffic disruption from lane closures or bad weather conditions, which can all affect timelines and ultimately impact costs if deadlines are not met. 

Final Thoughts

Pedram Zohrevand can honestly tell you that soft story retrofitting isn’t easy. However, with careful planning and thorough research into potential challenges beforehand, property owners can ensure their projects run smoothly while meeting all requirements imposed by local laws. By considering these eight common issues, property owners can ensure their soft story retrofits go according to plan without unnecessary delays or added expenses. With proper planning, property owners can also rest easy that their buildings will meet all necessary safety standards set forth by local authorities. All told, taking the time upfront now can save you time, money, and hassle later.

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Abdul Mondal

Abdul Aziz Mondol is a professional blogger who is having a colossal interest in writing blogs and other jones of calligraphies. In terms of his professional commitments, he loves to share content related to business, finance, technology, and the gaming niche.

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