If I can't step to a 2' by 4' run then I run into the next wall, call for
good compaction and design the connection and footing capacity for a
suitable span from the foundation I butt into. Usually allow for at least
6' or more.
In residential here, if you are not careful, the contractors will just run
down the hill. For slopes steeper than about 5% or so I review the
conditions for stability etc and may sometimes require upgrade to the
footings or create load collection to other parts of the foundation
Thor Tandy P.Eng MCSCE
From: Jim Kestner <jkestner(--nospam--at)somervilleinc.com>
To: Structural Engineers Association International <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Date: Thursday, June 17, 1999 8:27 AM
Subject: Footing Steps
>I am curious as to what others' philosphy is regarding stepping of
>foundations down to a lower level. I typically try to step them,
>however, there may be instances where the steps would be too many or too
>steep to properly be accomodated. I have seen others' drawings where
>they simply run the upper level footing into the side of the foundation
>wall of the lower footing. This seems OK if the soil is compacted well
>beneath the upper footing or the wall is reinforced to span across this
>weak zone of backfill. I always require that the concrete walls be
>What do others do in this circumstance?
>Jim Kestner, P.E.
>Green Bay, Wi.