Online Program Designs Basement Walls
An engineering program on the Concrete Foundation Association's (CFA) Web site allows users to design a basement wall using CABO 95, IRC 2000, UBC, BOCA 97 or ACI-318-99 codes.
This service is free for the association’s members and costs non members $25 per visit.
The Concrete Foundation Association has introduced an online engineering service to manipulate the design of basement walls.
The system allows users to manipulate the wall design for the desired height, thickness or required reinforcement, beginning with a particular design based on a few basic parameters. When the design satisfies the model code that has been selected, it can be printed out and used as a worksheet or blueprint or for submission.
If engineering approval is required, the user can access economical engineering by faxing the design to the company that designed the software. It will be reviewed within 24 hours and returned with an approved design and engineering stamp on it. CFA members can receive this service for $125, non-members for $250.
“What we are very close to unveiling at the present time, through final revisions to the format, is a similar application for retaining walls,” says Jim Baty, technical director of CFA, which is headquartered in Mount Vernon, Iowa. “Retaining walls would be designed exclusively to ACI-318, the general design code for the concrete construction industry.”
Since all retaining walls contain reinforcement, the program just tells the user the degree to which reinforcement is required. It provides parameters indicating what the configuration of the retaining wall and its footing design must look like. Color indicators show the user which requirements have not been met.
The primary strength of these two programs is their ease of application, says Baty. “Users are impressed with how easy it is to manipulate, design or investigate a multiplicity of designs,” he says.
To use the system successfully, users do have to provide accurate information about soil conditions, which can be obtained through soil testing or soil classification. “If a user makes an incorrect assumption as to their soil conditions, then it can grossly affect the performance of the wall,” says Baty.
CFA provides its members with access to a network of companies with a common interest in continually improving the quality of foundations, their businesses and industry technology.
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