Soft Story buildings are common in cities like Los Angeles where the first floor have large openings such as garages or tuck under parking. These openings can cause a structure to have a weaker first floor, making it unable to sustain the buildings weight when hit with seismic forces.
To prevent catastrophic damage, many cities have implemented mandatory retrofitting programs which often require the demolition of existing concrete. While the process of demolition may not sound like the most exciting topic, it can actually be quite fascinating.
Jackhammer and excavation process:
Jackhammers are used to break up the concrete followed by Sinai Construction team to deposit those pieces into large containers which are removed off site. However it is not as simple as just smashing it up. The process requires careful planning to ensure the surrounding buildings, infrastructure and people are not affected. Watching and listening to a jackhammer and excavator tear through concrete can both be exhilarating and nerve-wracking, but it is a necessary step in creating safer buildings and communities.
So next time you see a a jackhammer or excavator at work, take a moment to appreciate the skill and precision required to safely demolish a soft story building. If you have any questions about a Soft Story Retrofit project contact us at (323)655.0960.