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MiTek Builder Products Offers Engineering Solutions that Comply with New ‘Soft Story’ Retrofit Ordinances

MiTek® today announced that its MiTek Builder Products division offers a range of solutions for building owners, structural engineers, and contractors to design solutions that comply with new “soft story” retrofit ordinances in California. These ordinances (part of broad government retrofit mandates) require soft-story structures to be seismically retrofit to better resist earthquake loads.

A soft story structure is typically an apartment complex built over first floor carports with large openings but little structural support to resist the lateral forces of earthquakes.

According to the LA Times, in the City of Los Angeles alone, an estimated 13,500 structures will be subject to the new ordinances. Similar laws have been adopted in the San Francisco and East Bay areas. The Los Angeles and San Francisco building departments are often seen as building safety leaders, and their ordinances are commonly adopted by neighboring jurisdictions.

To bring buildings into compliance with the ordinances, MiTek offers the Hardy Frame® Shear Wall System that includes Prefabricated Panels and Prefabricated Special Moment Frames (SMF), as well as steel connectors from USP Structural Connectors and CIA GEL7000-C epoxy. MiTek has developed a new special soft-story website (link) to showcase its structural retrofit solutions: (A recent illustrated Journal of Light Construction feature article explains the Hardy Frame SMF installation process, in detail.)

“The cost to retrofit is a fraction of the cost to repair or replace a building that’s been damaged in an earthquake. And of course life, personal safety, or even displacement of tenants can’t be measured in terms of cost. The efficient design of MiTek Builder Products retrofit solutions, combined with the simplicity and flexibility of the field installation, will help assure successful retrofits,” said Maged Diab, President of MiTek Builder Products.

About MiTek Builder Products

A division of MiTek USA, Inc., MiTek Builder Products integrates a number of businesses, building products, and brands, which MiTek has assembled after a remarkable series of acquisitions. These product brands include USP Structural Connectors, the Z4 Tie-Down System, and Hardy Frame, as well as design software solutions for decks. Also offered through the MiTek Builder Products division is SAPPHIRE™ Supply, an estimating and design module within the MiTek SAPPHIRE software suite. Learn more:

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