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RE: code soil values vs. site specific values

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Title: RE: code soil values vs. site specific values


It is a good thing that you are practicing in liberal State of California, and not in the great conservative State of Texas!  The Texas PE Board clearly views foundation design without a site-specific geotechnical investigation and report as failing to meet "generally accepted engineering standards or procedures".  In their January, 1992 Official Newsletter, they specifically state that they will judge such practice as gross negligence, incompetence, or misconduct under Board Rule 131.151.  Consequently, at my firm, we won't design anything (not even a dog house) without a site-specific geotechnical report with foundation design criteria.  To the best of my knowledge, this is also the policy of all of the other "enlightened" firms in Texas.


Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Rooting for the Stars in Dallas !!

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Dennis wish wrote:

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.