Hardy Frame® The Retrofit Experts

MiTek Builder Products include Hardy Frame prefabricated Shear Walls and
USP Structural Connectors that are designed to resist earthquake loads.

Special Moment Frame Resists Earthquake Forces

The Hardy Frame Special Moment Frame is pre-assembled and welded at the factory, then delivered to the job site ready to install in new construction or existing structures as a retrofit to improve the buildings ability to resist earthquake forces in order to provide safety and reduce damage.
  • - Pre-assembled: no field welding
  • - AISC 358 Pre-qualified.
  • - No lateral bracing at beam required
  • - Code compliant
  • - Custom designs available
Hardy Frame for 3 Car Garage

Additional Lateral Bracing not Required

It uses the MiTek SidePlate connection with wide flange columns, and a rectangular Hollow Structural Section (HSS) for the beam.

This connection and beam profile allows the frame assembly to fit within standard 2x6 framing, and the use of an HSS beam means that additional lateral bracing is not required.

Learn more about the simple steps to retrofit.

Call 1-800-754-3030 or use our contact form:

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Where are Retrofit Ordinances in Place Now?

Some buildings will require retrofit by 2017

For San Francisco, according to the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California the USGS predicts that there is a 63% chance another large earthquake will strike San Francisco in the next 30 years. “The intensity is expected to rival those of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake.”

It is estimated that 43% to 85% of soft-story buildings will be uninhabitable following a major earthquake, potentially displacing 58,000 residents, 2,000 businesses, and 7,000 employees.

4 cities have adopted soft-story retrofit ordinances

As of today, these following cities have adopted soft-story retrofit ordinances that require building owners to make improvements: San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and Los Angeles. There is already talk about other California cities adopting similar laws.

An estimated 13, 500 buildings in L.A. affected

Cities are directly notifying the building owners of their obligations under the new laws, and those names and addresses are a matter of public record, should entrepreneurial contactors want to market their retrofit services.

It is estimated in L.A., that upwards of 13,500 buildings may need code-approved retrofits.

High Seismic Zones

Geological conditions and historical earthquakes help us to identify and classify high seismic zones. Earthquakes such as the 1987 Whittier, 1989 Loma Prieta, 1994 Northridge, and 2001 Nisqually Washington have caused extensive damage to thousands of wood-framed homes. The resulting damage has helped to advance new products and methods that improve the structural integrity of buildings.

After years of study, code officials in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles have recently adopted ordinances that require soft-story seismic retrofits. The purpose is to prevent loss of life, to mitigate possible building collapse and to avoid the inhabitants being displaced from a condemned building.

USGS map

Installing the Hardy Frame Special Moment Frame in Soft-Story Applications

1. Dig the Footing
For pad footings dig the foundation where the columns with hold down anchors will be located. The Engineer of Record may require larger footings. Digging the footing a little deeper not only assures meeting code for moisture, it also makes installation of the Moment Frame and anchors in retrofit applications easier.
2. Prepare the Template Kit
For anchorage, the Template Kit shown includes two Templates, two Bolt Braces, eight anchors, with two washers and four nuts per anchor and rebar shear ties. The Template has a slotted hole at two ends, which are used to measure the inside “steel-to-steel” dimension of the Moment Frame.
3. Delivery of the Moment Frame
The Hardy Frame Special Moment Frame is delivered to the jobsite completely pre-assembled with wood nailers attached. There is no field assembly, no field welding and therefore no required special inspection for the Frame assembly.
4. Installing the Frame
With the footings prepared and shoring in place, the site is ready for installation of the Moment Frame. Tilt the top of the Frame back, away from the building then move it towards the point of installation with the column bases forward. Lower the column bases into the foundation, and then raise the beam until the Frame is vertical.
5. Position the Frame
Raise the Frame up and position it in the wall line. For retrofit applications with the Frame installed within the existing line, raise the Frame until the 3x nailer on top of the beam is in contact with the building collector and install temporary shoring.
6. Installing Anchorage
The anchorage can now be installed at the column base plates and suspended in the open footing. The Bolt Brace that is visible at the embed end assures the anchors will not sway independently while pouring concrete to keep them parallel and plumb. The rebar reinforcement shown is designed by the Engineer of Record.
7. Frame In Place
The Hardy Frame Special Moment Frame is installed and ready for concrete to be poured at the footings. Connectors to transfer shear will be framing angles as specified by the Engineer of Record. The label shown on the left column provides illustrations of typical bottom and top connections for the installers and the building inspector’s reference.
8. Fixed Base Installation
The first pre-engineered, pre-fabricated Moment Frame in the industry.
9. Interior Installation
Interior Installation
Continuous Tie-Down systems resist wind uplift and seismic overturning forces while compensating for shrinkage in mulit-story wood framed buildings.

Soft-Story and Retrofit Resources from Hardy Frame

Retrofit Guide 
A great resource for building owners with an introduction to construction techniques and MiTek Builder Prodcuts available to strengthen soft story buildings in retrofit applications
Hardy Frame Product Catalog
The Hardy Frame Product Catalog provides complete information for Engineers, Architects and Designers to specify our shear wall system.

Retrofit Solutions for Single Family Residences
Includes USP Connector Retrofit Products for raised floor structures.
Hardy Frame Moment Frame Catalog
Includes allowable values and typical installation details.