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Re: Responsiblity for local conditions

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Marlou,
Actually the building officials take absolutly no liability risk and never had unless they knowingly give out false information. At one time I was given a document related to potential liability of the Building Officials and their technicians and the law holds the state or local munipality harmless from providing wrong information if it is unintentional. The government can not be held liable and it is probably due to this that most cities, including Los Angeles provide a minimum design criteria for foundations in areas of expansive clay soils that is very common in the L.A. area.
I don't have the name of the book I am referring to, and possibly another of you can recall the publication that came out some time in the early 80's that explained the responsibility of the building department. Arnold Bookbinder, SE who is now semi-retired, sent me sections of the book to read after the publication of the 97 UBC to make this point - you can't sue city hall :>)
 
Dennis
 
Dennis S. Wish, PE
California Professional Engineer
Structural Engineering Consultant


----- Original Message ----
From: Marlou Rodriguez <mbrodrig(--nospam--at)mbrodriguez.com>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 9:14:07 PM
Subject: RE: Responsiblity for local conditions

Stan,

I see building officials taking huge liability risks by offering soils
reports for specific quadrants.  I guess if there is a known fact that
the soil condition is similar at each particular quadrants.  Here in the
bay area, I see conditions differ from property to property. I have a
job where one site only required a regular continuous foundation system
while the property next door required piers and grade beams.

When I was working in Hawaii, I recalled a document that had a
collection of soils reports that had been done in the islands.  If you
had a site that was near an area where there was an old soils report,
you can base your initial design on that.  I do not know if that
document is still available for engineers in Hawaii.

Personally, spending the $2000 for a soils report is a small price to
pay for well designed foundation system.

My 2 cents.

Marlou

-----Original Message-----
From: sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com [mailto:sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 8:43 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Responsiblity for local conditions

Dennis-
Burbank had (and hopefully still has) the City divided into 4 quadrants
and had soil tests done for each. They then provided the data for anyone
to use upon paying a small fee (less than $100 as I recall) to use the
data and to repay them for having the tests done. I believe this was
only for residential and small commercial projects.

It has never made much sense to me for an owner to have to pay about
$2000 for a soil test for a residential addition when one was done a few
months earlier at a site next door or a couple of houses away- and this
is what is required in some cities.

Stan Scholl, P.E.
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