Soft Story Model Ordinance & Handbook

A large, soft-story apartment building with parking garage spaces on the first floor.

This collection of resources provides information gathered from local experience and recommended practices for how to understand the problem that soft story buildings pose for jurisdictions and the region. It advises how to develop programs to reduce the earthquake risks of existing soft story buildings and to increase the resilience of the Bay Area’s housing.

While the information presented is based on extensive earthquake engineering knowledge, this information is intended to be used by a non-technical audience, including jurisdiction staff and elected officials, to help guide policy development, adoption and implementation of retrofit for this type of common, fragile housing.

The program guide and model ordinance were created by the ABAG in 2016 and 2017 respectively.