Subject: RE: Foundation Design Without Site-Specific Geotechnical Reports
From: "Dennis S. Wish" <dennis.wish(--nospam--at)gte.net>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 22:22:59 -0700
As a follow-up to my last post, I inadverntly forgot to mention that I was
quoting from the UBC Handbook and this is why there is an opinion in the
last section. Still, the code stands correct - the building official has the
Dennis S. Wish, PE
From: Caldwell, Stan [mailto:scaldwell(--nospam--at)halff.com]
Sent: Friday, May 12, 2000 1:43 PM
To: 'SEAINT Listserv'
Subject: Foundation Design Without Site-Specific Geotechnical Reports
I submitted a post on this subject earlier today, but it appears to have
been lost in cyberspace. Here is another attempt, since this information
might be of interest to many of you.
The Texas PT Board has begun to vigorously enforce their policy that
foundations cannot be designed without site-specific geotechnical reports.
Here are two examples of recent disciplinary actions, excerpted from the
Spring 2000 Texas PE Board Newsletter (
Mr. Widjaya Surya Atmadja, P.E., Austin, TX - File D-978 - Mr. Atmadja
allegedly failed to use site specific geotechnical soil studies to prepare a
residential foundation design. Further, statements on the plan sheet that
the design was based upon unconfirmed assumptions about the soil's stability
were misleading and not in keeping with generally accepted engineering
practices. The Board accepted a Consent Order signed by Mr. Atmadja for a
Formal Reprimand and assessed him a $500 administrative penalty.
Mr. Martin Prager, P.E., Dallas, TX - File D-960 - It was alleged that Mr.
Prager issued foundation design plans for a residence that indicated they
were in conformance with Post Tension Institute standards; however, the
design was not based upon a site-specific geotechnical soils report.
Therefore, his designs were misleading and not in keeping with generally
accepted engineering standards or procedures. The design plans bore the
title block of a firm which Board records did not show Mr. Prager was
associated with, suggesting that he may have entered into a business
relationship contrary to Board rules. The Board accepted an Agreed Board
Order signed by Mr. Prager and his attorney for a two-year probated
suspension of his Texas engineer license contingent upon his agreement to
pay a $5,000 administrative penalty. Mr. Prager also agreed to inform the
Board of each engineering activity he performs during the probation period.
How many of you design building foundations and/or civil structures without
site-specific geotechnical reports? How many of you do this in Texas?
Stan R. Caldwell, P.E.
Dallas (Hockey Heaven), Texas