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Engineers who think they can design walls from there desk...

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mrusk, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    I encountered something i find strange today. I been talking to a builder for 6 months now. One part of the job is around 4000 face feet of wall. It took months to get the site plan done. Then the retaining wall engineer designs the entire wall from just the grading plan!!! The guy never goes to the job site. This wall is 12 feet tall.

    So i get to the job site today to view the plan for the first time. Damn thing is not buildable. Engineer wants me to put 10.5 feet of grid into a solid rock bank. Whats he thinking? Since he never been to the jobsite, he had no idea what the conditions were.

    Just venting.
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    My previous career was engineering (electronics). The old saying goes "If it works on paper..."

    They all seem to think that because all there calculations are precise and correct that it 100% will work. Then it gets to the build....
  3. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,396

    happens all the time in the excavation world...only thing you can do is deal with it...i am studying Civil Engineering at Penn State, the advantage i have is that i am a heavy equipment operator in the summers and winter so i have first hand experience with what works and doesnt..plus i like going to jobsites and getting dirty...hope that helps me in the future
  4. phototropic1

    phototropic1 LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Posts: 118

    Yo Dirt Digger....it will help! Just don't forget where you came from.:)
  5. 600rrpilot

    600rrpilot LawnSite Member
    from nj
    Posts: 58

    Just a suggestion....I've never personally dealt with a rock situation such as this...but considering there is no chance or errosion or soil compaction...etc etc....You should be fine ending the geo grid where the rock begins....continue on with no grid...then start the grid again where the rock meets the soil again. This is just me thinking. I could be COMPLETELY wrong here and i probably am. just figured i would throw it out there. Kinda like the only stupid question is the one that you dont ask. Im curious as to the outcome of this so keep us posted if you will.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    I am meeting with the engineer in the morning. We will see what happens.
  7. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    If the engineer gets all the info on the job and conditions and it's accurate he really doesn't need to see the site. The majority of the jobs i've done that require a engineered stamped plan, i've never met the engineer. Right now i'm in Mississippi building a wall that has one problem after another. The engineers plans are off a little on the measurements, but that comes from a bad site plan. I have had other issues that the engineer never could have forseen even being on the job. If it's a sizable job it might have been worth having a geotech come to the site to take samples for the engineer. It sounds like your job should have had one too. I have found that most issues can be solved with a phone call to the engineer, that and good planning.
  8. cleancutccl

    cleancutccl LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 698

    The engineer never has to see the site. All he has to do is design the wall, and stamp it. Its your job to build it to his specs or else its you azz when it fails, not his.
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Mr. Retaining wall expert: I can not build it to his specs if the site conditions make the wall unbuildable!
  10. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    After hours on the phone today, we scrapped the entire wall plan and we are going to start over from scratch. Thousands of dollars in engineering out the window. Luckily not my money.

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