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Re: Landslide

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I read in The Register(Orange County's local newspaper) about the house in a
hillside in Laguna Beach which went down on a landslide. A drawing shows a
cross-section of the house in caissons extending into the bedrock to resist
vertical loads.But it does not show anything to resist lateral load that why I
think the house went downhill with the landslide when the topsoil above the
sloping bedrock slipped.

Are there any provisions in the code for laterally restraining the house to
the bedrock  to keep it from sliding downhill when a landslide(topsoil sliding
on a sloping bedrock surface) occurs?

I also remember a new  L.A. City Code requirement with heavy, continuous and
deep footings at the portion of the house sitting on bedrock which at first I
thought was too conservative. Would this new code requirement  that came about
after the Northridge Earthquake help keep the house from sliding downhill?

Or is this a Geologist's problem? Is the horizontal force of the sliding
topsoil too large that no practical structural restraint is capable of
resisting it? Can we design a connection of the house to the bedrock at the
high point and just let the soil slide from under the house with the caissons
capable of resisting the vertical loads? All these assume that all earthquake
and wind loads were already taken cared of.

I'm just thinking of what I will say to a future client who wants to build on
a hill side when he asks the question "will my house slide downhill?"

Ernie Natividad