‘Seismic’ Archive

Sesimic Retrotting Complete January 15, 2010 No Comments

About a year ago we had the house seismically retrofitted by covering the brick foundation in concrete and adding steel support beams (seen here); however, recently we were getting ready to build a new wine cellar and found old support beams and headers. Since we already had the foundation 70 percent retrofitted we decided to finish the rest. This time they dug another trench and filled with concrete and rebar to support another steel i-beam connected to an engineered wooden beam.

Now we have a wide open garage with very few supporting beams anywhere in the middle. The only two we have are covered by drywall which is soon to become the wine cellar. But we’ll go into more on that. For now, check out the pictures of the work here.

Seismic Retrofitting Begins October 10, 2008 6 Comments

Although this house has stood proudly on the hill for over 120 years in a seismically active part of the world, its still in our best interest to shore up the foundation. Luckily for us, this house held up through the big 1906 earthquake as well as the one in 1989 due to the fact that is built on solid bedrock. Its quite remarkable considering the foundation is made of brick and mortar and the house is held to it with gravity alone. After all is said and done, this house should stand for at least a hundred more years.

In order to update our aging foundation, we are doing what the experts call a “cap and raise”. That means they are going to raise the sill plate that currently sits on the brick, drill holes for large bolts to attach to the sill, epoxy rebar into drilled holes in the bricks, and encase the whole thing in high strength concrete. If you click on the picture to your right, you should be able to see a closeup of what is actually going on here. In addition, we are having two large steel girders put in to help support the front of the house in place of an old wood beam and turnbuckle system. How this house held up so long is quite incredible.

For more photos on this project click here.