SNW provides a variety of services for seismic retrofitting, depending on your business’s unique needs. Our services include apartment complexes, businesses, and office buildings. These commercial dwellings can fail earthquakes because of tilt-up construction, unreinforced masonry, or a soft story. In the case of an earthquake strike, your building won’t become part of the parking lot or street, and you’ll remain open for business.
A common construction technique uses tilt-up walls, or tilt-slab, but unreinforced buildings are notorious for poor performance in earthquakes. A tilt-up wall is typically made by pouring low-cost concrete onto a horizontal surface to form the walls while laying down. The walls are then moved into a vertical position, usually be crane. Anchors connect the concrete walls, but if the anchors are not properly installed into the other building structures (e.g. floor, roof), the walls can pull away and fall down. Other points of high failure risks are the holes in the concrete for windows and doors, often large and unreinforced. SNW reinforces these buildings by adding new and better Simpson anchors along with steel reinforcements.
If a business or commercial residential building is not made of tilt-up materials, they are often instead built out of unreinforced masonry (URM). A building comprised of URM can be made of hollow clay tiles, brick, concrete blocks, stone, or adobe. These materials are likely to be damaged in earthquakes because the mortar keeping the masonry in place is often not strong enough to resist earthquake forces. To turn any URM building into a safe building, SNW strengthens the building by anchoring the walls to the floor and roof, installing braces, adding interior partitions, and any other measures for your unique business needs.
A soft story is a ground floor that’s weaker than the other floors because of large, unreinforced openings. This may be due to inside parking, large lobbies, or commercial space on the first floor. They are most susceptible to lateral forces, so SNW stiffens the building laterally, as well as strengthens the anchors. We take the lessons from “The Northridge Earthquake” that collapsed many apartment complexes and make sure your first floor does not fail.