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RE: Ron Reagan was a Democrat - residential basement walls for seismic pressures?

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Thanks for responding.  Locally we have a stardardized handout that is more conservative than the IRC provisions.  The problem is for basement walls taller than the prescriptive requirements in the IRC or local amendments.
Is there anywhere on the west coast where designing residential basement walls for seismic forces is common place?
-----Original Message-----
From: Jordan Truesdell, PE [mailto:seaint(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2004 4:13 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Ron Reagan was a Democrat - residential basement walls for seismic pressures?

At 05:41 PM 5/6/2004 -0800, you wrote:

Should residential basement walls and retaining walls be designed for seismic forces?  Is it the intent of the code to design residential basement walls for seismic forces?  Are there Building Departments requiring residential [detached 1 and 2 family dwelling] basement walls to be designed for seismic forces?  This has not been standard practice in Anchorage.

I had never designed a basement for seismic loads, nor had any discusion about seismic loading with local geotechs in NC/VA/MD/PA/DE.  Based on the prescriptive basement values in the IRC2000 (VA's current code), there appears to be no analytical allowance for seismic loading, especially given the prescriptive soil class assumptions.

To be honest, in 5 years of practice, I never really entertained the idea (not having had it mentioned in any concrete course - undergrad or graduate) until this year when I was auditing a geotechnical engineering/soil mechanics class at Virginia Tech.  Of course, my soil design pressures usually tend toward the conservative (active pressures of 30pcf for gravel = 0.5xwall ht, 45 for silt with a good drainage system, and 60 for at rest).

As for the intent of the code...IMHO if the 2003 IBC removes the requirement for 1-2 family units, it probably wasn't meant to apply to them the first place. ******* ****** ******* ******** ******* ******* ******* *** * Read list FAQ at: * * This email was sent to you via Structural Engineers * Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) server. To * subscribe (no fee) or UnSubscribe, please go to: * * * * Questions to seaint-ad(--nospam--at) Remember, any email you * send to the list is public domain and may be re-posted * without your permission. Make sure you visit our web * site at: ******* ****** ****** ****** ******* ****** ****** ********