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RE: code soil values vs. site specific values

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In most cases, I have been relying upon the local building departments to
advise what the conditions and near source values are in their community. If
there are more than one type of soil to consider, I go with the most
I have tried with little success to obtain soil studies - mostly the
architects or designers are in too much of a hurry to wait for job specific
information and the building departments have not been enforcing soils

There is one soils company,  locally, who will provide soil profiles and
near source data given a site address. They work from historical records and
will email the information for a fee of $100.00. However, for the homes that
I have done since the code was adopted, I have been able to obtain most of
the values from the building department who have maintained some records
from submittals in the same vicinity (mostly gated and private communities).

I don't have serious expansive clays to deal with in my area as is common
throughout most of Southern California, so the concerns that clays bring are
not as difficult to contend with.

Dennis S. Wish, PE

-----Original Message-----
From: David Adie [mailto:dadie(--nospam--at)]On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 10:42 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: code soil values vs. site specific values

I understand that if everyone on this list answered this question, I would
get response that varied from one end of the "spectrum" to the other.

So let me define my target audience: private consulting structural engineers
who typically work on low rise commercial projects.

Do you typically use code given soil profile types or do you do a detailed
site investigation involving geotechnical information?

Do some of you do both depending on the project?

Do some of you offer the different design methods to your clients based on a
cost / benefit analysis?  If so, what is the typical response from them.

Thank you in advance to anyone who responds.

david adie