IS YOUR HOME AT RISK?
SOFT STORY OVER A GARAGE
“Soft story” describes any part of a building that has living space above an open basement with multiple windows side by side, or above a two car garage, porch, or carport not specifically designed to transmit shear lateral force to the story above.
Specifically, split-level houses and other homes with living space over a two-car garage are at special risk of the living space collapsing into the space below in severe earthquake shaking.
Multi-family apartments and condos with large, open parking areas on the ground floor are also at considerable risk of collapse into the open space below.
The ABC’s of retrofit still apply, but additional engineering design is required to deal with this dangerous building characteristic.