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Re: floor level tolerances

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I concur for the most part - but then again "out of level" is "out of level". If the cause was soil/structure interaction subsequent to installation...well, did the contractor screw up? Was there a Geotech recommendation? Was it followed?

William L. Polhemus, Jr. P.E.
Via iPhone 3G

On Mar 29, 2011, at 2:36 PM, Andrew Kester <akester74(--nospam--at)> wrote:

We do floor elevation surveys of existing structures all of the time during our forensic investigations. My opinion is that without an initial post-construction survey of the floor, a survey is a very limited forensic tool. The results must be compared with distress locations to see if there may be a correlation. Most of my studies involve concrete slabs-on-grade, and often there is no correlation between the slab contours and distress.

So approach this cautiously.

Whether there are published standards, building code requirements, or plan specifications are irrelevant- in that we do not know the original elevations of a floor unless they were surveyed right after construction. Those standards or requirements may have been ignored or just not achieved.

Basically, it may have been built that way. You know about creep of the wood and settlement, so this must be added to the "out-of-tolerances" that occurred during the intial construction. Unfortunately, there is no way to separate all of these factors.

Now, if you are trying to establish what is generally "acceptable" from an as-built perspective, I think that is a different issue. What I would be interested in is the structural capability been affected, or is this merely a functionality/serviceability issue?

Andrew Kester, PE