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RE: Garage surcharge

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I think judgment is required for any situation like this – what is the heaviest point load (wheel load) that could occur in the life of the structure and how close will it be to the wall?  You could quite possibly have greater than 90psf in a small region.  But if the wheels won’t get close to the wall you may be fine.  There are many methods (NAVFAC 7.02 has some, geotech texts usually do) for accurately resolving point loads into horizontal wall forces, although it’s certainly easier to make a conservative assumption and run with it, if it doesn’t overkill the design. 


Ed Tornberg

Tornberg Consulting, LLC

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Grill [mailto:
: Tuesday, June 29, 2004 4:30 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Garage surcharge


We have a residential garage on a sloping site, therefore, two of the foundation walls will be retaining.  Distributed live loads from the 2003 IBC indicate a 40 psf live load for a residential garage.  If the slab weight (say 50psf) is added to that, would 90 psf be an adequate surcharge for the wall design?



Joe Grill