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RE: residential pier foundation design

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I just found out that my original inquiry to another engineer ended up bouncing around a few of the big offices in San Francisco. Some were not aware of the zone 3&4 1% Ag rule in the 97UBC and one was preparing for a big 5 digit increase in rebar. One explained that UBC never picked up on chapter 1 of ACI that indicates that its provisions do not apply to portions of piles embedded in the ground. One engineer described his practice as something like: .5% long As in lower portion of pier, 1% in top 120%, #4 special hoops for top 5 pier diameters and a pitch less than 1/2 hoop diamter in lower portion. It seems that there is a lot of code page flipping to come to a confident conclusion. Sure would be nice to have a concise consensus for residential pier foundations.
 
Jeff