Excavation Safety

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 are, however, deceiving.  While the intact strength may be high,…

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Expansive Clay and Foundations

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 foundation is typically found under a residence or small to…

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Framing Problems

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″ x 6″ or 2″ x 14″. GLU-LAM – glued laminated layers…

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Geological Faults and Foundation Design

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 Braunfels and parts of San Antonio. The band…

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When Should You Stress a Cable Slab?

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 there…

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Drainage and Waterproofing

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 change. Often a structure is constructed…

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