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Channel 4 News discusses the importance of retrofitting soft story structures with Steven Saunders, President of Saunders Seismic Retrofit. Soft story structures are where the front of the building is very open, either with glass or garage spaces like in tuck-under parking. Drive through almost any neighborhood in Southern California and you'll find at least one apartment building with open garages underneath. But experts say that they could put you at serious risk, especially if an earthquake hits. The state's Seismic Safety Commission said retrofitting soft story buildings should become a top priority.
The film was created by the USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project in cooperation with the Designmatters program at Art Center to depict the physical, social, and economic consequences of the most comprehensive earthquake scenario ever created. The film gives the viewers a sense of what will be happening and inspires them to prepare and mitigate for a faster recovery. The premise underlying the film is that design is a powerful catalyst that can bridge the divide between scientific understanding about damaging quakes, and the ability of the public to feel empowered and to change their behavior in terms of preparedness.
The City of Costa Mesa Mayor’s Award was presented to Reiner Communities and The Tower on 19th for preserving affordable housing and enhancing the quality of life for local seniors. Saunders Construction was honored to take part in the extensive seismic retrofitting of this nearly 50 year old high-rise apartment building that was seismically at-risk prior to the renovation. At 18 stories, The Tower on 19th is Costa Mesa's tallest building on the westside.
Planning the retrofit of historic buildings before an earthquake strikes is a process that requires teamwork on the part of engineers, architects, code officials, and agency administrators. As this video demonstrates, project personnel working together can ensure that the architectural, engineering, financial, cultural, and social values of older buildings are preserved, while rendering them safe for continued use.