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RE: Residential design in the desert

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Title: Residential design in the desert

References for slab-on-grade design depend on the soil type. Are you concerned with collapsible, expandable or compressible soils? If so, lots of references exist. If not, there is less rational design information available. Which is it?


Eric Green, PE


-----Original Message-----
From: Gerard Madden, PE [mailto:gmadden(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 12:07 PM
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