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Re: Pier and grade beam foundation systems

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In a message dated 4/7/98 7:24:42 PM, Ernie wrote:
<<An exception is when the system carries a significant portion of the seismic
force. Houses with steel frames or narrow shear walls with heavy uplift and
downward loads resisted by the grade beam or even if the upward and downward
forces goes directly to the piers, if they are heavy loads compared to the
dead and live loads, then, using one's engineer's judgement, it may be
considered as a "lateral force resisting system".  
Maybe I'm nit-picking here, but doesn't every pound of the earthquake load go
through the foundation system, whatever it might be?  In some cases the eq.
loads might make only small changes in the fdn. stresses, whereas in others
they might be the governing forces.  Doesn't anyone besides Barry and me worry
about the pier tops getting "pulverized" during an earthquake, especially
consider the quality of most house foundation concrete?  

Ralph Hueston Kratz, S.E.
Richmond CA