Retrofitting wood-frame soft-story structures
Structural engineers across California will meet in Los Angeles Tuesday to discuss buildings at risk of damage in earthquakes. One topic will be the problem of wood-frame apartment buildings that have a “soft story,” or a wobbly bottom floor. One such apartment complex collapsed during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, killing 16 people.
The lower-floor walls of a soft-story structure are weak and can collapse in an earthquake.