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RE: IBC Chapter 18

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I think this is appropriate for NEW structures. The provision is most likely there so liquefaction potential is established. In my opinion, a soils report is always a good idea from our perspective, but is it really worth it on say a house (well in California engineers work on houses) where the homeowner has had no signs of prior movement on a 30 year old house? The typical residential house re-model or addition, I would say no unless there are signs of previous movement (doors/windows sticking, cracks in finishes) … but my vote doesn’t really matter.


So if your structure is existing, there may be an argument, but by your modifications, you need to bring the structure to current code levels, it seems the report would be necessary.


My 2 cents



Santa Clara, CA


-----Original Message-----
From: Jake Watson [mailto:jwatson(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 7:52 AM
To: Structural Engineering Association International
Subject: IBC Chapter 18


Section 1802.2.7 of the IBC seems to require a soils report for any structure in seismic design category D,E, or F.  We have a building department for which we do plan reviews.  They are enforcing this provision and requiring a soils report for every structure.  They have called us and asked if this is accurate.  This section seems to be overkill, has anyone else encountered this?  Does anyone know why this section is written differently than NEHRP/FEMA 302?  There does not seem to be a similar provision in the IRC.


Jake Watson, P.E. 
Salt Lake City, UT