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Re: Building Settlement - Las Vegas

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Bill,

I hadn't read to the last sentence and I was already thinking it could
be gypsum in the soil.  A while back, I worked on a job in St. George,
Utah which is about 100 miles from Las Vegas.  At the water treatment
plant there, there is plenty of evidence of settlement in the upper soil
layers.  The sidewalk around the filter building had settled more than 6
inches in only 5 years.  Some of this could be attributed to improper
compaction of the fill around the building, but the plant staff warned
us that the surface layer soils had a lot of gypsum.  When water would
reach the gypsum, the gypsum would leach out and the soil would settle.

Now, as to why this would start to happen after the buildings were more
than 30 years old is a good question.  I think that Hans was on the
right track about finding a leaking water source such as a pipe or
pool.



Kipp A. Martin, P.E., S.E.
Carollo Engineers
503-227-1885
503-227-1747 (fax)
kmartin(--nospam--at)carollo.com

>>> BPolhemus(--nospam--at)wje.com 5/4/2006 8:58 am >>>
Comments?

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.
Houston, Texas
P: 832.467.2177
M: 281.450.8426

-----Original Message-----

We are investigating settlement of a building in Las Vegas.  The
buildings that have settled are on the order of 40 years old - the
settlement is reportedly a relatively recent phenomenon - starting
within the last five or six years.  A new building was constructed
adjacent to the older buildings, however, the construction was only a
couple of years ago, after the settlement had already started. 
  
The settlement is significant - in some locations on the order of 6 or
more inches.   
  
Two recent geotech studies identify gypsum in the soils and note that
the gypsum can go into suspension if water is present.   
  
Anyone have any experience with something similar? 

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