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RE: Retaining Wall Question -Reply

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This issue should depend on how the consultants contract was written and
who the prime consultant was.  It seems to me that it is ultimately the
responsibility of the prime consultant to verify that all of the "systems"
are addressed and are compatible.  I 've done a number of projects where
the arch addressed the waterproofing and the civil addressed the backfill
drainage pipe.  If its a smaller project and there is only a structural
engineer then the structural will obviously have to address everything.

You could for example also argue that it was not the lack of waterproofing
that was the problem but rather the selection of the stucco finish and or
the attachment system for the stucco.  When these issues are raised is also
the time to decide on how the wall should be dampproofed or waterproofed.

Also, I 've seen a lot of basement walls with dampprooofing(waterproofing)
where the wall has cracked and water leaks in.  Even if damproofing had
been provided there could still have been a problem!

>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.