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Planter Loading

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I'm designing the precast elements for a parking structure (actually mixed
use bldg with parking on one elevated deck).  The floor system consists of
prestressed double-tees and inverted tee girders, and precast columns, shear

The architect has specified recessed planter boxes for the planting of
trees.  We will construct these as precast tubs 4 ft x 3.5 ft x 2.5 ft deep
- and recess them into blockouts (openings) between the 2 stems of the DT
member.   They are located in a shear critical region near one end of the

Estimating the weight of the soil and the planter and its effects on the DT
are not a problem.   My concern is the weight of the tree - or less
predictably, the weight of the tree the 3rd or 4th owner of the building
might plant in these things.   The architect and his arborist are working on
getting me today's tree design weight.   I am strongly considering using
that weight and stamping a note in the edge of the planter or the topping
pour stating:  "Planted contents not to exceed X lbs".   Similar to posting
live load limits in office buildings.

Am I overdoing this?   Or should I be estimating a max weight possible and
move on?   Right now they're telling me these trees will (only) grow to 12'
tall, and maybe that's all you can support from a box this size.   But I
keep picturing a bunch of palm trees or something.

Glen A. Underwood, SE
Clark Pacific

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