Uphill wall design

flgargoyleNovember 22, 2007

Our house in SC will have a walk-out basement- the lie of the land is just right for it. One concern I have is in designing a basement that will be secure with the uneven load- backfill on the uphill side, nothing on the downhill side. From what I've been able to learn, if an unbalanced wall is more than 30' or so long, you have to either use shear (perpendicular) walls to brace the uphill side, or incorporate jogs into the design that are perpendicular to the load. I won't be engineering my own basement- I'll leave that to the experts, but it is affecting my design ideas. I'm looking at a house of about 48' wide, so should I incorporate some jogs into the floor plan, plan on shear wall(s), or can it be strong enough without? One issue is a clay-based soil, which generates a lot more pressure on a foundation. I favor simple (think rectangular) floor plans for economy and ease of building, but not if heroics are going to be needed to make it strong.

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I usually don't answer my own posts, but I've since learned that I will definitely have to reinforce that uphill wall somehow. I'm going to see how much the shear wall(s) would add to the cost, then make a decision whether to go that route, or make a 'jogged' design to get the same effect.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2007 at 9:42AM
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