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Re: drilled pier foundation

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Drilled piers in Houston usually do not have any embedment. The pier is normally
drilled down to the bearing strata, then the bell is reamed to the required
diameter. The support for the exterior should be a concrete grade beam with void
boxes under it. Some of the better strip shopping centers would either
over-excavate and replace with select fill, use lime stabilization, or add fill
to raise the finish floor. Infill masonry walls would be placed on a thickened
slab nominally 2" wider than the wall and 12" deep with (2) #5 continuous.

Due to the amount of movement that will occur in the slab, all infill walls
(masonry or gyb. board) normally do not have the top of the wall fastened to
anything. Ceilings are hung from the roof structure and are used to brace the
top of gyp. board walls.  Masonry walls require lateral bracing off the roof
structure that will control movement laterally and allow movement in the
vertical direction.

Keep in mind that until recently, only a structural engineer's seal was required
on structural plans to get a building permit in Houston.

Davis G. Parsons II, PE RA AEI
a practical architectural engineer
now in Fort Worth, Texas
(15 years in Houston is 14 years 11 months too many)

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