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RE: '10 CBC Retaining Walls

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To All, (Again),
I guess I didn't word my question correctly. Is it the opinion of those that design retaining walls that based on Section 1807.2.3 of the '10 CBC, we now have to design ALL retaining walls for seismic forces, (or has anyone found an exception such as the old '07 CBC Section 1806A)?
Thanks in Advance,
Larry Hauer S.E.

To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: '10 CBC Retaining Walls
From: Tom.Hunt(--nospam--at)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 08:28:58 -0800


I would think you would be able to use CBC Table 1601.1 for the earth lateral loads and Table 1806.2 for your soil bearing allowables.  Unless you are sitting in a peat bog or saturated sands, you can assume Soil Class D, go to Google Earth to get your job site latitude and longitude, then go to the USGS website to get all your seismic design parameters.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.

From:        Larry Hauer <lhauer(--nospam--at)>
To:        "Struct. Eng. Assoc." <seaint(--nospam--at)>
Date:        02/16/2011 12:03 PM
Subject:        '10 CBC Retaining Walls

To All,

Remember the good old days of the '07 CBC ? You could avoid having to design retaining walls for seismic forces if the wall was less than 12' in height, (Section 1806A of the '07 CBC). Am I correct in concluding that in the new CBC this exception is now out?

Also, for those of you who design retaining walls, note Sec. 1807.2.1 where we now have to design for active pressure on the earth side of a key, (this feature is in the new RetainPro ver. 9.2).

So, is it the opinion of others that we now have to design ALL retaining walls for seismic loading, and, if so, does this then require a geotechnical investigation for your backyard 4 foot high retaining wall to get the seismic design values?

Thanks in advance,

Larry Hauer S.E.

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