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RE: Residential design in the desert

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Title: Residential design in the desert
Some cities require Soils Reports, Some don't. if it's not required, then we use 1000 psf S.B.P., It's usually 4" slab on grade with #4 bars @ 18"o.c.(Not a structural slab). Footings are normally 15" wide x 18" below grade, with 2#4 T&B, at all bearing walls. for shear walls that aren't bearing walls, we used to use scoop footing which is a thickened footing for the 5/8" AB's. but with the uplift craze that most cities require(even when the shear wall length is more than it's height), we stopped using those and use 12x12 with 1#4 T&B., The slab typically sits on the footing in a 2 pour process.
-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden, PE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 10:07 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Residential design in the desert

I will shortly begin my first design of a house located in the desert (so. Cal).

The architect didn’t think that a soils report is typically done since it is in a desert locale. Is that true, I thought for new construction it was required.

I take it that most houses in this region are slab on grade (please correct me if I am wrong). What is common practice in this design? I would take it that you would have turned down/thickened edges to accept the hold-down anchors at the shearwall locations. Do you guys design these as mats or do you just thicken the slabs under the shear/bearing walls to whatever is necessary to get proper embedments? Are post-tensioned slabs common?

Also, if anyone could show me the way to some good references for slab on grade residential I’d appreciate it. I am usually doing traditional spread footing w/ crawlspace or pier & grade beams type foundations for residential.



Santa Clara,CA