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RE: Piles

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I have not seen such a design - YET, but know that it is comming from recent
events. With that said, the Desert Sun Newspaper ran a cover story a few
months ago basicly alerting everyone in the valley that we are in the ground
zero area. With the performance based methods in the '97 UBC we found that
the area's which will be hardest hit by movement along the San Andreas will
be Indio, Coachella and Thermal. Each of these area's is but a few miles
from the active fault.
The Desert Sun Newspaper map indicated area's of liquifaction potential -
Indio was the area subjected to the highest occurance.
Pat, for what it's worth, I designed the home of JFK's chief administrator -
Mike Rembis. I don't know if he is involved, but I would be willing to offer
my opinions. About the only Geotechnical in the area is Earth Systems, whom
you may be using.
I agree with your Geotechnical's Report. The study is fairly new and most
people believe that we have the most stable soil conditions to build upon -
but they don't understand the issues related to liquifaction - let alone an
understanding of seismic events. The largest quake suffered in this area
that people remember is Landers - which, btw, was almost sixty miles away
and did very little damage to this valley.
Your biggest problem is education of new research. I am not qualified to
work on essential facilities and don't know the codes or regulations to be
followed.  I would think OSHPD would be your best defense here.

The problems you are facing are primarily due to ignorance - something that
is common our here since very few projects done required engineering. As I
stated, I believe your Geotechnical is correct and those in the area will
need to take this into consideration.

Please email me privately if there is anything I can do to help. Also, let
me know when you will be in the area - it would be a pleasure to meet you.


-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick Rodgers [mailto:prodgers(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 1998 9:44 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Piles

Dear All (Especially Dennis Wish);

We are doing a hospital addition in Indio.  The building is located on
what the geotechnical engineer said was a lake 400 years ago, so the
site has lots of poorly compacted lens of soils at various depths, too
deep to dig up and recompact.  The soils report states that during an
earthquake, the site would see 1.8" dynamic consolidation of the sands
and 0.6" liquefaction (I think).  Needless to say, this is causing some
problems.  The owner's rep thinks piles for a 2 story building is
absurd.  But trying to deal with with 2.4" settlement within 30' is
absurd, too.

Questions to the crowd:

    1. Has anybody designed or seen a design for a building on piles in
the Indio area?

    2. The geotechnical engineer said that the check on dynamic
consolidation is something they have just started doing.  Does anyone
have an idea how OSHPD would react to a soils report such a large

Thanks in advance.

Patrick Rodgers