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RE: Retaining Wall Code Requirements

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The intent of the ACI 318 (headwaters of the UBC) was to only require the
minimum steel (UBC 1914.1.2) requirements of the wall section.

However, the ultimate arbiter of the UBC is the Building Official.  If he
wants to, he could make you put 2 curtains of  #18 @ 6" in the wall, he is
within his authority (although he may be out of his mind).

On the building official's side, crack control is better with the 2 curtains
of steel, but it is an aesthetic issue not a structural issue for a
retaining wall.  

If it is not a big deal, and the building official is adamant go with the
flow.  Pick your battles with building officials prudently.  But if you are
looking for the strict correct interpretation, UBC 1914.1.2 is all that is
required out of 1914.  

If it does crack and the cracks are not acceptable, suggest vines.

Harold Sprague

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Paul Rohrer [SMTP:prohrer(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Tuesday, February 01, 2000 12:51 PM
> To:	'seaint(--nospam--at)'
> Subject:	Retaining Wall Code Requirements
> I'm currently debating a plan checker regarding a cantilever SITE
> retaining wall with an 18" thick stem. He is requireing a double curtain
> of reinf. since the thickness is more than 10" per UBC 1914.3.4. Are site
> retaining walls required to be designed per all of chapter UBC 1914 or
> just 1914.1.2    (1994 UBC)
> Thanks.
> Paul Rohrer, S.E.
> Paul Rohrer  mailto:prohrer(--nospam--at)
> <JN> Johnson and Nielsen Associates
> Consulting Structural Engineers
> 949-261-1495   949-261-2307 FAX