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Seismic Retrofit

With the San Andreas fault line running through most of California, the Bay Area is especially prone to earthquakes due to amplified seismic activity. DBI began enforcing the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit program to ensure that soft story buildings are reinforced to strengthen the foundations of homes and businesses. With the reinforced building upgrades, residents will be more prepared for any unforeseen seismic catastrophes.

The program affects all wood-framed buildings in San Francisco, which are divided into four "tiers." Currently, Tiers 1 and 2 are already completed, and the Tier 3 phase is coming to a close.


Tier 4 buildings (any building located in a liquefaction zone or has 5+ units and a retail space) are now the focus of all seismic retrofit upgrades. The deadline for submitting plans to obtain a permit is approaching for all Tier 4 building owners.


Recently, Oakland also passed a similar ordinance.

SGDM is here to help! We can discuss the options available to you and help your building reach compliance with the soft story retrofit ordinance. To learn more about the design-build approach we take to retrofit your building, click here.

Links for Resources:

San Francisco Department of Building Inspection - Mandatory Soft Story Program

Seismic Retrofit Informational Flyer (SFDBI)

SFDBI Mandatory Soft Story Program FAQ

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