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Concrete Press Piles Foundation Repair: Building Code non-compliance Part 2

Here’s our second round tackling the issue about foundation repair from the building code perspective (the “Bible” of Engineers and local governments); more specifically, proving that the concrete press piles foundation repair system doesn’t work, as evidenced by not meeting the requirements of the code. For those of you who are not technically inclined, please read our simpler and summarized version, Foundation Repair.

     a) What the Code Says

     b) Stabilization

     c) Why this type of Foundation Repair System doesn’t meet the code

     d) Conclusion: Don’t use Concrete Press Piles Foundation Repair

     e) A side note: Slab Jacking and Mud Jacking

a) What the Code Says

The International Building Code (IBC), the code required to be used in San Antonio, Austin, San Marcos, Houston, Dallas, etc and many other cities in Texas, says the following about foundations on expansive soils. Below is a portion of the code which we’ll discuss in this Part 2.

1808.6 Design for expansive soils. Foundations for buildings and structures founded on expansive soils shall be designed in accordance with Section 1808.6.1 or 1808.6.2.

Exception: Foundation design need not comply with Section 1808.6.1 or 1808.6.2 where one of the following conditions is satisfied:

1. The soil is removed in accordance with Section 1808.6.3; or

2. The building official approves stabilization of the soil in accordance with Section 1808.6.4.

In part 1, we discussed the first part of the above paragraph. In part 2, we want to talk about the exceptions.

One of the exceptions, section 1808.6.3 is not applicable to foundation repair; this section deals with improving the soil by removing bad soil and replacing with good soil. Doing such a thing in a foundation repair case would be extremely impractical and costly to do. So, we will deal with section 1808.6.4. Which deals with stabilizing the soil (which by default stabilizes the foundation).


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