To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: Florida Coast custom home
From: Steve Hiner <shiner(--nospam--at)folsom.ca.us>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 12:58:12 -0800
The mother of one of our city building inpsectors recently had a custom home
built in Palm Coast (Flagler County), Florida.
The house is three stories: 1st story is a Garage with masonry walls, 2nd &
3rd stories are wood framed with plywood shear walls. The roof is stick
framed, 3rd floor is framed with metal plate connected wood trusses at 16"
o.c., and the 2nd floor (over the Garage) is framed with metal plate
connected wood trusses at 24" o.c. It's my understanding that the house was
supposedly engineered to resist 110 mph wind loads (per the plans). I have
seen part of the approved plans, but no calculations have been made
available to date.
It appears that the contractor pretty much built it as he saw fit, often not
matching the approved plans (which appear to be somewhat vague on the
structural side). What started out as a problem with excessive floor
deflection of the 2nd floor trusses has resulted in some serious concerns
with the lateral strength of this home. One example: "GO-BOLT" system
(SBCCI ESI Report No. 9508) was used to tie the wood framed walls to the
masonry, but the spacing appears to be random at best and there are no plate
washers and nuts at the sill plate on top of the masonry wall. I'm not
familiar with the "GO-BOLT" system, but it appears to use regularly spaced
threaded rods intended to resist both combined tension (uplift) and shear at
the sill plate. Rain water apparently is leaking to the inside of the
Garage through gaps between the sill plate and top of masonry wall (at 2nd
floor) ... where there appears to be no shear transfer (i.e. no plate
washers and nuts).
The contractor has been very unresponsive and has the attitude that it's not
his problem. The registered engineer on the project was initially
unresponsive as well but finally came out to the site and admits that the
contractor "missed some things." This engineer is finalizing a report. A
preliminary copy of the report makes no mention of the lack of shear
transfer between the wood framed shear walls and the masonry. There is a
concern that this report might be weighted more towards saving the
contractor additional work and expense, but we hope not.
Our building inspector has flown out there and seen the as-built condition.
She is very concerned about the welfare of her mother if this house ever
sees anything close to 110 mph winds.
I would appreciate hearing from any local (Florida) engineers with
experience in this type of residential construction. Not being familiar
with the SBC, I have a number of other questions that I don't want to
clutter the SEAINT list server with. Please feel free to email me directly.
I know the building inspector (and her mother) would be very grateful for
any help in this matter. Thanks.
Steven T. Hiner, SE
City of Folsom, CA