Toll Free:  (855) BE-SAFEE (237-2333)
                          (510) 666-0100

Soft Story Buildings were responsible for significant damages during the past earthquakes in the Bay Area such as during the 1989 Loma Perieta Earthquake, and Los Angeles Northridge Earthquake in 1994. During these and other similar earthquakes thousands of buildings, apartment buildings and homes collapsed partially or totally and became unusable because of severe damages to the garages and parking areas under the buildings. So just recently many cities in the Bay Area and California are requireing to identify these buildings and if they fall under the Soft Story Categories then some retrfoits will be required. Depending on the jurisdiction that your property is located, the amount and timing of the retrofits could vary. For your information you can find some informations below for some of the cities in the Bay Area. For the latest updates and detailed information please call your appropriate building department. We at Safe Engineering Construction will gladly to meet with you at your property to evaluate your building and if needed will prepare an accurate cost estimate for your seismic SOFT STORY RETROFIT. Feel Free to give us a call at 415-747-1000 or 510-666-0100 for a free site visit and estimate.

On March 16, 2010 , the City of San Francisco passed a Soft Story Retrofit Ordinance. The purpose of this Soft Story Ordinance is to Strengthen buildings with living spaces over garages, carports, and openings.

Soft Story Buildings were responsible for a significant damages during the past earthquakes in the Bay Area such as during the 1989 Loma Preieta Earthquake, and Los Angeles Northridge Earthquake in 1994. During these earthquakes thousands of homes collapsed partially or totally.

City of San Francisco also adopted a program to help the property owners who voluntary retrofits their buildings:

  • Waiving building plan review fees
  • Expediting building permit process
  • Exempting retrofitted buildings from any future mandatory retrofitting ordinances for the next 15 years

Property owners are advised to take advantages of these benefits provided by the City of San Francisco and act early to retrofit their buildings and take full benefits of a stronger building during any future seismic activities.

City of Oakland California Soft Story Seismic Screening Program.

City of Oakland, California, passed a Soft Story Seismic Program to identify Soft Story Buildings.

The screening program applies to buildings with the following conditions:

  • Building constructed before 1991
  • Building with residential units over parking, garages or commercial spaces on the ground floor
  • Buildings have FIVE or more residential units
  • Buildings have two or more stories in height
Safe Engineering Construction can help the property owners to prepare an evaluation report for submittal to the building department in reference to the Soft Story Ordinance.

Safe Engineering Construction can also provide the property owners with an accurate construction estimate for the work.

City of Berkeley Soft Story Seismic Ordinance

City of Berkeley, in California passed a soft story ordinance during 2005. The Soft Story Ordinance requires all Soft Story Property owners to file a seismic analysis engineering report.

City of Berkeley hopes the property owners to retrofit their buildings now to protect occupants and to limit the property damages in the event of an earthquake in the Bay Area.

City of Alameda Soft Story Seismic Ordinance

The City of Alameda passed a Seismic Ordinance #2989 in 2009. The ordinance requires all soft story property owners to file a seismic analysis report on their building to the Building Department.

The City of Alameda Soft Story Ordinance requires all

The City of Alameda gives 15 years exemption for all retrofitted buildings. Property owners of Soft story Buildings in Alameda are advised to take this opportunity and retrofit their buildings and be exempted from any future retrofits for 15 years.

City of El Cerrito Seismic Hazard identification and mitigation program.

The City of El Cerrito adopted an ordinance No 2009-05 in 2009 for mitigation of high Hazard to Low Hazard Buildings in El Cerrito.

Call our office at (415) 252-1228 or call the City of El Cerrito, Building Department to find the status on your building.


  • New Deck Foundations
  • Soft Story Correction
  • Underpinning Foundations
  • New Second Story
  • Create more living spaces
  • Waterproofing
  • Hillside Failure or Landslide
  • Leaning Retaining Wall
  • Leaning Retaining Wall
  • Poor Drainage
2122A Dwight Way
Berkeley, Ca. 94704
Tel : (510) 666-0100
Toll Free : (855) BE-SAFEE (237-2333)
Email :