Property Managers and Building Owners

Selecting an Experienced Engineering Firm is Critical

It is absolutely critical that the engineering firm selected to draw plans for your seismic retrofit possesses the necessary training and experience in the area of seismic structural engineering.


If an underqualified engineer generates plans containing too many or few retrofitting solutions, the contractor may build to the plans provided, creating unnecessary, overbuilt or underbuilt construction. This can not only unnecessarily increase costs for the retrofit, but fail to provide the PML standards you expected from the retrofit.

A knowledgeable retrofit construction company possessing the experience to recognize poorly generated plans may recommend that you hire another structural engineer to redraw suitable plans before construction begins. Although a new set of correctly generated plans will then save money in the long run, additional funds will be required because the engineer was not carefully chosen.

Conversely, if correctly drawn plans are not properly constructed, the engineer will ask the contractor to make corrections and may need to make additional visits to the construction site. The corrections and the additional visits cost money.
Working with qualified, experienced engineering and construction firms like those that are part of the Seismic Retrofit Association will save money from the start.


Re-drafting plans and construction delays consume valuable project time. An unnecessarily extended project decreases the money saved on insurance or it may delay the sale of the building. At the project completion of a poorly generated seismic retrofit solution, it may be determined that the building’s PML is still too high in the event of an earthquake. Taking additional time to install additional necessary hardware may increase the building’s strength, but if the additional hardware beyond the budget of the project or incorrectly added to the project, the safety of the building will be compromised and a desirable PML will still not be met.

Choosing qualified engineers and contractors, like those associated with the Seismic Retrofit Association, makes a retrofit project smooth, safe and economical from the start.


Before any plans are generated, make sure that the engineering firm you are considering has the necessary experience in designing seismic retrofits for commercial buildings. Ask about the number of buildings on which the firm has performed seismic retrofits in the last 2 years.
Another way of verifying that the candidate has the relevant training and experience is to ask whether the firm member is a Seismic Retrofit Association member. SRA ensures that all members know how to perform a seismic retrofit, saving you time, money, and increasing safety.

Selecting an Experienced Seismic Retrofit Construction Firm is Just as Critical

Satisfied commercial tenants willingly fulfill their lease obligations. However, a poorly executed retrofit project can disturb tenants’ business operations and cause them to be dissatisfied, request financial compensation or even vacate the property.

Click here to see a Seismic Retrofit Buyers Guide for information on what to consider when selecting a commercial seismic retrofit company.   Additionally, take a look at the Commercial Property Owners Guide to Earthquake Safety.

Find out more about seismic retrofitting
To find out more about seismic retrofitting, see this white paper.

Find an engineer
Click here to see our list of SRA engineers. In addition, see a list of case studies for commercial buildings like yours.

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