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RE: Foundation Drains

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Jason –


I don’t agree when you say you need to “always show it on yours”.


While it’s true that I don’t design retaining walls to resist hydrostatic pressure, that doesn’t mean I’m willing to take on the responsibility for designing and detailing the drainage system. On the jobs I work on, that’s usually the responsibility of the civil engineer or architect. What I do though is put enough notes on my drawing (and even the details) indicating that drainage is required and is designed by others. I also have conversations with my client (usually the architect) when discussing scope and coordination issues. The reasons I do it this way include the fact that I haven’t been retained to do this work and drainage systems can vary in complexity from weep holes to perforated drain pipes in a bed of gravel fill connecting to an area drain system.


When you say “you should always…”, please be careful. Saying “What I always do…” is probably more accurate (if in fact it is).




T. William (Bill) Allen, S.E. (CA #2607)


Consulting Structural Engineers

V (949) 248-8588

F (949) 209-2509


-----Original Message-----
From: jwknospam [mailto:jwknospam(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 8:35 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Foundation Drains


If you depend on the drain to develop your foundation loads then you need to always show it on yours.  You then put a note with your minimum requirements – something like “Min. 4 in. drain tile to daylight or storm sewer.  Reference drawing nnnn for all site drainage.”


That way at least someone has something on paper.  What the “nnnn” means depends on where this water goes.  If it’s to an external storm sewer system or to daylight then I’d say it belongs on the civil drawings (or wherever the other storm sever info is located).  If it drains through the wall into the building’s sewer system then maybe the info should be on the plumbing drawings.


The SIZE of the pipe should be determined by the geotech or civil engineer.




From: Randy Diviney [mailto:rsdiviney(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 10:19 AM
To: Seaint
Subject: Foundation Drains


We are having a discussion in our office regarding standard foundation or perimeter drains. If I have a retaining wall or if the geotech suggests one I always require a drain. The question is, which drawings should it appear on; site, civil, plumbing, structural?





Randy Diviney

Hayes Large Architects



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