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RE: Slab Foundation Possible?

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Why not use a 12" + thick slab/mat foundation with reinforcing top and
bottom.  A 5ftx10ftx1ft portion of concrete slab is about 7.5k of dead load
(greater than the 5.58k uplift load).  Use a thicker slab if you need more
dead load.

Charles F. Espenlaub, III, P.E.
Martin-Espenlaub Engineering

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Valorio [mailto:geotex1(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 1:42 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Slab Foundation Possible?


I am looking for some help on a foundation for an
enclosed, skid-mounted landfill flare unit (i.e.,
burns off the methane from garbage degradation).
Anyway, the unit is self-contained because it is
mounted on a 40ft long x 8.5ft wide trailer skid and
will be delivered to the site and set upon a prepared
foundation. After which, a 40ft tall (ground level to
tip of stack) flare stack will be bolted on. So, what
we have is a long narrow footprint with a tall chimney
that can produce a large overturning moment due to
wind loads.

>From the flare manufacturer, wind design was for 100
mph winds, exposure C, and I = 1.05, which is
reasonable for the site and unit. The manufacturer
also provided loads at the bearing for the foundation
design. There are six bearing points in two rows of
three (either side along the length of the skid). So,
without a picture to show, here's how they're
positioned: picturing a rectangle 40ft x 8.5ft, one
bearing is positioned at each corner of the rectangle
and the two intermediate bearings are placed 8ft from
the end of the skid along the same line as the other
bearings. (Note, all descriptions imply centerline
dimensions.) Loading from the manufacturer is as

At one set of end bearings and the intermediate
bearings 8 ft from them:
Wind Shear = 4kips
Download = 12.6kips
Uplift = 5.58kips

The bearings at the opposite end are:
Wind Shear = 2.1kips
Download = 6.6kips
Uplift = 0kips

Now the dilema, foundations for these units are
normally cookbook for me. For this loading, and
typical soil conditions encountered, I've always used
drilled or poured piers beneath each bearing point.
However, this particular installation, the owner is
strongly pushing a foundation slab of some sort. I
have no experience with designing a slab to handle
this sort of equipment and it's loads, which the
overturning potential 'feels' too great to me for a
slab given the narrowness of the footprint (Note, no
guywires will be installed either to further support
the stack). Can anyone offer me some advice for design
or at least persuading the owner not to go with a
slab? I've searched through ACI, PCA, and Corps of
Engineers literature, but nothing has given me any
level of comfort for this kind of design. I was told
to buy Ringo and Anderson's book, "Designing Floor
Slabs on Grade: Step-By-Step Procedures, Sample
Solutions, and Commentary," which will arrive
tomorrow. However, the owner is pushing for a fast
turnaround, so I'm limited on where I can seek out
further advice. The manufacturer cannot help as they
want no liability for the foundation design. I've been
reading the mail list for sometime, but this is my
first post and I really could use the guidance of
those of you who are more experienced than I.

Thanks in advance!
Rob Valorio, PE
Cherry Hill, NJ

P.S. - Also, if it helps in your response, the
foundation soils are ideal being a virgin deposit of a
very dense gravelly sand with a high modulus of
subgrade reaction.

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