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Re: IBC Chapter 18

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Jake,

I don't know were the provision came from, but I would say that I tend to
agree with it.  To me, it seems entirely logical to have a soils report
for ALL projects, with a possible exception for a straight-forward
residential home on a crawl-space or slab-on-grade in a low seismic area
in an area with VERY straight forward soils (i.e. some nice sand or
non-expansive clays).  It seems EXTREMELY logical in a moderate to high
seismic area to "expose" possible seismic risks due to soil issues such as
liquefaction.  I know that if I was in a moderate to high seismic risk
area, I would not be advising a client that a soil report that includes a
study of seismic issues was not necessary.  Knowing my luck, I would do
something like that and a seismic event would occur causing liquefaction
under my clients house, and then I would be in legal hotwater for not
having or suggesting a soil report.

In my neck of the woods, I think that a soil report is still a good idea
for a typical residential structure even though I am in a low seismic
zone.  This is mainly to get a good recommendation for lateral earth
pressures to use for basement walls (most houses around here have
basements).  To me, I can get a better idea of a lateral pressure to use,
which not only can make the design potentially safer, but can also save
some costs because if I don't have a more accurate recommendation, then I
am likely to be more conservative in my design of the basement walls
resulting in more cost to build the walls.  This is assuming, of course,
that I or any other engineer are actually hired to do any design on a
residential structure (not really required here in Michigan if under 3500
sq ft).

HTH,

Scott
Ypsilanti, MI


On Wed, 10 Jul 2002, Jake Watson wrote:

> 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.
> 
> Respectfully,
> 
> Jake Watson, P.E.
> Salt Lake City, UT
> 
> 


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