• Drainage and Waterproofing November 6, 2015

    Commercial buildings and homes are frequently constructed on lots which are not flat. In these cases, drainage and waterproofing may become important issues. Any time there is a change in grade of the foundation slab, there is a possibility of water appearing on the downhill side of the grade [...]

    Read More


  • When Should You Stress a Cable Slab? October 26, 2015

    The question as to when the proper time to apply the stressing force to the post tensioned cable in this type of reinforced foundation is of considerable interest. If you apply the stressing load too soon you have the danger of pulling cable anchorages out of the green concrete. If you wait too long [...]

    Read More


  • Geologic Faults and Foundation Design October 2, 2015

    Austin and Central Texas abounds with geologic faults, the most prominent of which is the Balcones Fault, or “fault system”. These faults are especially common in a band, which runs north and south through Austin and similar areas in Georgetown, Round Rock, Buda, Kyle, San Marcos, New [...]

    Read More


  • Framing Problems September 25, 2015

    Most single and multi-family residences and significant number of small to mid size commercial structures utilize wood framing for structural support. Terms: Timber Framing - refers to heavy timber 8" x 8” or larger. Lumber - surface finished (S4S) wood members equal to or smaller than 6" [...]

    Read More


  • Expansive Clay and Foundations September 17, 2015

    This subject has received attention from many sources for many years, but nevertheless remains a hot topic with regard to design and construction of lightly loaded, shallow foundations in Central Texas.  The prime design problem for these foundations is swelling or expansive clays. A shallow [...]

    Read More


  • Excavation Safety June 30, 2015

    Excavations are common on construction sites in the form of pits, trenches, and cuts adjacent to a hillside.  Excavations are necessary for construction but can be dangerous.  Stiff to hard clays seem very strong and will stand temporarily on vertical cuts for great depths.  Clays [...]

    Read More


  • Shrinkage Crack Considerations for Post-Tensioned Foundations June 1, 2015

    Shrinkage cracks in concrete slab-on-ground foundations are a significant public relations problem to home builders. All concrete will shrink during the curing process which lasts up to a year after the time concrete is placed in the forms. Curing involves loss of water from within the concrete, [...]

    Read More


  • Defining Foundation or Structural Failure June 1, 2015

    When has a foundation or any other structural unit failed? There are three categories in which a structure could be placed with regard to structural performance: Obvious failure: Collapse Major distress and distortion Functionality Impairment Obvious non-failure: No distress No [...]

    Read More


  • Damp Rot May 1, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Wood frame construction is used practically 100% in single family and many multi-family residences. In addition, many smaller commercial structures use wood frame. Poor construction is usually the cause that permits water entry and long term dampness in wood framing. This is especially prevalent at [...]

    Read More


  • I Think I Shall Never See a Slab As Lovely As a Tree April 24, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Trees are common fixtures around the constructed environment and greatly enhance the livability and value of homes, offices, shopping centers, and other facilities used by man. If you have a shallow soil supported foundation or slab, or other near surface construction such as pavement in conjunction [...]

    Read More


  • Steel Framing for Residences April 10, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Steel structural framing has been used for many years in commercial construction. It is only used rarely for residential construction. The main reason appears to be that “it has always been done that way”. Another reason is probably that homebuilders do not have access to subcontractors [...]

    Read More


  • Balconies, Stairs, and Landings April 4, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Of the various types of balconies, the overhanging or cantilever types are potentially the most dangerous. Balconies can be found on single family dwellings, but most frequently are found in condominiums or apartments. A balcony can totally collapse if it becomes structurally unsound. Many deaths [...]

    Read More


  • The Geology of Central Texas or Why Foundations Do Funny Things March 25, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Austin has one of the most geologically diverse small regions to be found anywhere in the world. The many geologic layers, folds and faults cause different types of soil to outcrop in great profusion in this region. Many people have heard of the Balcones Fault. This is a system of many faults that [...]

    Read More


  • What is the Deal About Fill? March 24, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Fill is a broad subject that is frequently a factor in residential foundation construction. Most often, fill is a legacy the builder inherits when he buys lots which have been filled by the developer. Fill can generally be divided into three types: Engineered fill Forming fill Uncontrolled [...]

    Read More


  • Framing Problems March 20, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    Most single and multi-family residences and significant number of small to mid size commercial structures utilize wood framing for structural support. Terms: Timber Framing - refers to heavy timber 8" x 8” or larger. Lumber - surface finished (S4S) wood members equal to or smaller than 6" [...]

    Read More


  • Cracks! In Concrete March 12, 2015 | Republished, Kirby T. Meyer, P.E.

    One of the more disagreeable features of construction concrete is its ability to generate cracks. Cracks are of several varieties. Some are very fine, almost invisible to the naked eye, some are large and ominous looking. There are two basic types of cracks; the first type is shrinkage related while [...]

    Read More

Search By Tags

If you would be interested in having MLAW Engineers present a one to two hour seminar on soils, foundations or structures, call (512) 835-7000. We can tailor our program content to your specific needs.