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Re: Geotechnical in Canada

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Thanks Bill.

The soil/foundation problems were (and probably still) huge problems in the SF Bay area. We had to design foundations that were more expensive that the homes. Many times we had to design drilled piers on hillsides for long term creep. And there were whole subdivisions/neighborhoods where all of the soil was extremely expansive. Once we found a whole hill moving with about 30 houses. The county geotech at the beginning of an enquiry phone call: "We've settled that case".

Some solutions for the expansive or reactive soil can be found in the Australian technical literature. For example, our minimum continuous footing at the perimeter of house will have one bar top and bottom of the footing while the Australian recommendation will be 3 bars top and bottom with some hoops/ties. All of the interior piers would be tied together with a fairly rigid grid while the US will still use individual piers obtained from Home Depot/Lowes. Then one wonders why the roof will leak when one of the individual piers is in expansive soil.

My own house wanders around vertically during the year even though in the last 20 years I've constructed numerous French drains and uphill swales. Actually see improvement but no complete stop to the movement.

Didn't the Texas engineers develop the standard designs for the prestressed slabs on grade? You guys do good things down there.


On 2/6/2014 10:54 AM, Polhemus, William wrote:
This might be of some interest:


Bear in mind the following:

1. This was developed by the Structural Committed of the Foundation
Performance Association, a local Houston ad-hoc group made up of engineers and contractors involved in design, construction, forensic investigation and repair of foundations for lightly-loaded structures in the Houston area, where we deal with moderate to extremely expansive soils. Obviously lightly-loaded foundations (e.g. residences, single- level warehouse and commercial buildings) are a concern where expansive soils are a problem. Therefore, much of the information contained therein is focused on information needed from the Geotechnical Engineer for those purposes. 2. That said, I have found much of the approach of this Recommended
Practice to be useful in drafting RFPs for geotechnical work generally. I
think while our Geotech cousins certainly bear some responsibility where
unclear or ambiguous report contents are concerned, very often there are

Truncated 2150 characters in the previous message to save energy.


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