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re/ Top Rebar ??

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With all due respect to the respected senior engineers and code writers,
Structural Engineers must either meet the legal requirements that are in
the code, or convince the Plan Checker that a requirement is not applicable
for a particular application.  ACI 318, Section 12.2.4, clearly defines the
"alpha" reinforcement factor as "horizontal reinforcement so placed that
more than 12 in. of fresh concrete is cast in the member below the
development length or splice."  There is no exclusion for walls, deep
beams, slabs, footings, or anything else.  I also don't see any exclusions
in ACI 318 Chapter 14 or UBC Section 1912.

Unless your wall is a precast or tilt-up wall, there is probably at least
12 inches of concrete placed below your horizontal wall reinforcement and
the "alpha" reinforcement factor is applicable.

Rick Drake, SE
Fluor Daniel, Aliso Viejo, CA

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