lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Tips for Earthquake Retrofitting Occupied Buildings

Tips for Earthquake Retrofitting Occupied Buildings

Many occupied buildings in the Bay Area of California, especially those built more than 15 years ago, are in need structural maintenance, including an earthquake retrofit.  Apartment buildings, healthcare facilities, and other residential buildings, not to mention some large business operations, are occupied around the clock, seven days a week.   Commercial property owners often have difficult decisions to make when considering major maintenance projects that could impact current daily business operations or even the future safety of their tenants and businesses.  It might seem to be impossible to retrofit occupied buildings without shutting parts of them down and moving residents to other locations.  For most commercial properties, that solution would be just plain out of the question.  While it’s certainly easier to earthquake retrofit a commercial building while re-roofing or when the building is empty, this type of maintenance project can definitely be done without disruption to most ordinary tenant operations when a contractor specializing in earthquake retrofitting is chosen to do the work.

A contractor experienced with occupied buildings understands the necessity of avoiding disruptions in day-to-day operations, especially since major disruptions can have a negative impact on the business and can cause some major complaints.  Specialized seismic retrofit contractors usually hire teams with experience and as a rule, they expect their employees to work efficiently and professionally; specialized contractors routinely work hard to ensure minimal negative impact on residents, workers, equipment and the overall environment, while respecting the client’s needs and expectations.

Once a commercial property owner decides it is time to schedule a commercial earthquake retrofit for an occupied building, the following tips should be considered to ensure the job is done thoroughly with minimal impact to tenants and businesses:

    • Furnishings within the building will need to be protected, reducing the risk of damage to important items.   Noise and dust generated by drilling walls may inconvenience occupants; keep this in mind as you and your chosen contractor evaluate the best locations to set up tools, any protective sheeting, and walkways.

    • Let your contractor know that you expect professional behavior at all times.  Check with the contractor to determine the average length of time their employees stay with their business.  Loyalty and a stable crew is a reflection of experienced professionalism.

    • Let your contractor know that you expect them to use safe working practices, ensuring their own safety as well as the safety of co-workers, tenants and other building users.

    • Be sure to give your tenants ample notice regarding the steps that will be taken to complete the earthquake retrofit project, since the building will be occupied while work is being done. Request feedback to minimize any disruptions in their daily business operations.

Choosing an experienced earthquake retrofit contractor who specializes in commercial building reinforcement will save both time and money.  The specifications for earthquake retrofitting are unique for each property and can rarely be adequately done by a general or inexperienced contractor.

While earthquake retrofitting may be done for many different reasons, the most typical reason is to ensure the safety and security of a building’s tenants, employees, clients, machinery and inventory.  The reality is simply this:  many buildings constructed in California’s dangerous fault zones were not initially built to withstand the force of strong earthquake activity.  To learn more about whether your occupied commercial property in the Bay Area should be strengthened and reinforced or to speak with professionals who have specialized retrofitting experience, call Saunders Commercial Earthquake Retrofit Bay Area today!


Northern California Office

(408) 267-3876

Leave a Reply