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Depthof fill allowe?

Discussion in 'Residential Foundation Codes' started by Sifu, May 10, 2012.

  1. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

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    Got cussed out yesterday for requiring a DP on a job where a basement is being built into a sloped lot. The walkout side of the basement is 6-7' above grade with a foundation wall to that height. The contractor has filled the slab with stone. The slab fill slopes from about 1' of fill to the 6'. Within the slab are 3 bearing thinkened slab footings, crossing the sloped fill area. Assume the foundation wall at the back is sufficient. I had two concerns; 1) depth of fill and 2) bearing of the footings.

    506.2.1 permits a max of 2' of fill with clean gravel, this is exceeded by 3 times.

    Footings must be supported by undisturbed natural soils, the potential for differential settlement here is worrisome since on one end of these footings the fill is 1' or less and on the other it is 6'.

    According to the builder the engineer didn't understand my concerns, which made the builder mad about spending 500.00 for a letter. The builder quoted things from the engineer that he said were "right in the code" that proved I was not justified in requiring a DP. I called the engineer to find out about my "mistake", and find out where this new info was. He told me he wasn't made aware of my concerns and hadn't even written his letter yet. He also said the quoted info came from his books, not the codes.

    Bit of a rant but also want opinions on the justification of requiring the DP.
     
  2. steveray

    steveray Registered User

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    R403.1 General.

    All exterior walls shall be supported on continuous solid or fully grouted masonry or concrete footings, wood foundations, or other approved structural systems which shall be of sufficient design to accommodate all loads according to Section R301 and to transmit the resulting loads to the soil within the limitations as determined from the character of the soil. Footings shall be supported on undisturbed natural soils or engineered fill.

    Last sentence says it all for me.....I wouldn't sweat the floor terribly (if it seems to have been done properly, maybe compaction test), but 6' of fill under the footings?.......Stamp it.......
     
  3. GBrackins

    GBrackins Registered User

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    well if the code is pretty must prescriptive and more than 2-feet of structural backfill is not prescriptive, then his basis for his design would have to come from another source than the code.

    I agree with steveray, stamp it, sign it, and tie it up in a bow
     
  4. rshuey

    rshuey Registered User

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    "engineered fill", not regular fill. Need a stamp.
     
  5. north star

    north star Sawhorse

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    = = =

    Sifu,

    I agree that an engineered design would be required, "unless"

    your BO is the one `cussing you out for requiring the DP.

    If your BO will sign off on the design/application, then he/she

    can assume the liability [ RE: Section R104.11, `06 IRC ]

    If the builder is doing the `cussing, ...civilly and politely as

    you can, try to explain your code requirements, [ not Sifu's

    requirements ] and obtain an engineered design for your

    application.

    FWIW, ...if the 4-letter bombs start dropping, we end the

    inspection immediately and go inform the "powers-that-be"

    of the situation........We do not tolerate verbal abuse!

    & & &
     
  6. Papio Bldg Dept

    Papio Bldg Dept Platinum Member

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    I am in complete agreement with north star. Like it or not, you are hired to enforce the codes that you are given, and unless you are the BO, it is not your authority to use the Section 104 god clauses. The buck stops with the BO (and City/County Administrator). If your personal convictions lead you to believe the BO is being unethical in extending 104 to remove Section 403 prescriptive compliance without engineering, you have, in my opinion, two options.

    One, (if legal advice is not available to you) use your AHJ's personnell policies to raise your concerns/claims/position (you better have plenty of personal copies to back up your claim/position), then let it go, or two, start looking for new AHJ/Company to work for.

     
  7. north star

    north star Sawhorse

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    = = =

    Papio,

    Me thinks that the latter part of your statement is already underway.

    = = =
     
  8. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

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    First, the BO doesn't know about this one yet, its the builder doing the cussing. I had explained to him in my office the requirements, shown him in black and white the max fill code and the footings on undisturbed soil code. He was cool with it. The next day when the letter was not on the job for the inspection is when he went ballisitic, saying the engineer didn't think his services should have been required. I am a little suspect of this, thats why I called the engineer. The engineer related a little different story. FWIW I was very polite, told him I was doing everything I could to get his slab passed, even went back on my way home to see if the work the engineer described to me on the phone had been completed. Something got in this guys ear. Or, I find some guys are just so on edge they are unable to handle any pressure. This is a young guy who had admitted he was a little lost on this project and thanked me for helping him through it, so naturally the next day he started dropping f-bombs on me. And so it goes.........and Papio is right on the money, headed west again next week on the hunt.
     
  9. Daddy-0-

    Daddy-0- Moderator

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    I didn't think Tennessee had codes!!! Max allowed fill is 24". More than that requires a third party engineered fill report unless it is a stand alone structural slab (grade beams) which would be an engineered design. If they exceed 4' of unbalanced fill on the walls they need engineering for unbalanced fill. Also, they cannot fill the exterior more than 4' unbalanced until the foundation wall is laterally braced top AND bottom. Stick to your guns!! The code is your friend on this one. BTW....thickened areas on the gravel are OK as long as the gravel is compacted.
     
  10. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Registered User

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    . . . And the other halves are saying "when did you start enforcing that code?"

    Francis
     

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