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Structure Magazine Questions

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. > Q:    Can the safety factor for overturning of a retaining wall be 
. > reduced below 1.5 when analyzed subjected to seismic forces (i.e. 
. > 1.5/1.33)?

A:    So much is uncertain about seismic forces, particularly seismic forces 
on retaining walls, that I would be hesitant to reduce the safety factor at 
all.  It is well known that code required seismic forces are considerably 
less than what would be experienced and that "ductility" is relied upon to 
make up for the discrepancy.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona