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RE: Retaining Wall Question -Reply

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I hate to side with the lawyer, but off the top of my head I'd say that
it is the engineer's responsibility to cover the waterproofing behind a
retaining wall - in specs or on the drawings.  I don't think that it is
right to say it is the architect's job.  For the case you cite in an
outside condition, I would call it dampproofing - probably the ol' three
coats of bitumastic paint.  Cheap insurance.  This would be especially
important to attend to with a coat of plaster on the exposed side.  I
believe this would fall into the same category as assuring that there is
a perforated pipe behind the wall tied into a storm drain line (or
provide weep holes) to alleviate hydrostatic pressure.  It's part of the
total system design.

Kent Estes, S.E.

> ----------
> From: 	Tim McCormick[SMTP:TMCCORMI(--nospam--at)BAS.CI.LA.CA.US]
> Sent: 	Friday, August 22, 1997 8:54 AM
> To: 	seaoc(--nospam--at)
> Subject: 	Re: Retaining Wall Question -Reply
> On the waterproofing question:
> In a construction dispute that went to arbitration,  the Owner's
> lawyer
> asserted that all retaining walls should be waterproofed against the
> soil.
> This project was a residential "L" shaped retaining wall that had a
> stucco
> finish on the rear yard side. The stucco became discolored after the
> rainy season and the owners sued the engineer for not specifying
> waterproofing.
> Questions:  How many practicing engineers specify waterproofing for
> retaining walls that  are not part of a weatherproof structure? How
> many
> leave this decision to the architect? Do you believe this situation
> constitutes a construction defect ? 
> Tim McCormick, P.E.