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RE: Basement Walls -Reply

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A few extra considerations for basement walls. I once inspected the
damage to one of LA's favorite burger stands. The building was cut into
a hill. The rear wall was 13 inch URM (brick masonry) which retained
some 8-10 feet of soil. Also, a driveway for the adjacent property was
within five feet of the wall at the 8-10 foot height. The diaphragm was
one inch straight sheathing. This diaphragm deflected some 18 inches in
the middle of a 20 foot span. This dipahragms was not capable of
providing lateral support sufficient to prevent translation. 

Tim McCormick, P.E.
Training Offficer
City of Los Angeles Building and Safety