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RE: Sloped Continuous Footing

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Title: Sloped Continuous Footing
I agree with the stepped footing method but cost is rearing its ugly head and we're now in penny pinching mode.  Other then my gut not liking this solution, it sounds like there isn't a sound reason for not permitting a sloped foundation (<10%).

From: Kestner, James W. [mailto:jkestner(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:00
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: Sloped Continuous Footing

A sloped bearing surface creates a sliding component. This sliding component has to be overcome by friction to remain stable. The 1 :10 maximum slope conservatively allows for adequate friction plus some safety factor for soil with a very low coefficient of friction. 
Step footings with level bearing surfaces will eliminate this problem.
 -----Original Message-----
From: Cutler, Seth W CIV NAVFAC NW [mailto:seth.cutler(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:45 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Sloped Continuous Footing

We have a project where our customer would like to use a cantilevered retaining wall with a longitudinally sloped footing.  I noticed that the 2003 IBC allows for a sloped footing as long as it is less then 10% (1 in 10).  Most of the retaining wall will be 6 to 8 feet tall but portions may be up to 10 to 15 ft.  Does any one know of a code or sound engineering explanation why a sloped footing (<10%) would be unacceptable (I agree it's not proffered)?  Project is located in the Puget Sound Region of Washington State which has fairly high seismic risk.

Seth W. Cutler, PE
Silverdale, WA