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New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby bwolfie » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:18 pm

Well Fuck.... We had about 2" of rain monday night, and about 10pm the middle wall collapsed.
Now to get it cleaned up and rebuilt..... So much for finishing the concrete this year.

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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby Rohan » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:16 pm

Good job you weren't moved in then - or under it !!

Anything with earth pressing against it needs serious reinforcement, AND allowance for drainage.
Even garden walls here can't be more than 1 metre without an engineering certificate.
(Sounds like your engineering guy was asleep at the helm ?)
Have fun....

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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby xbacksideslider » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:23 pm

What they call "dead men" is what I've seen used.

Basically re-bar is extended out from a height mid or 2/3 the way up the wall 8 or 10 feet and buried in a trench and that trench is filled with concrete around the re-bar. At the far end the re-bar is T'eed into more re-bar which is also trenched and concreted. At the wall, of course, the re-bar is tied into the re-bar that is inside the wall.
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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby ando » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:10 am

Brent
As a Building Surveyor/engineer I can say that I am surprised that the wall stood that long. Do not attempt to rebuild the wall as it will collapse again once any filling goes in. Only next time the roof may be on and you may be in the basement. Unreinforced blockwork cannot be used to retaining filling.
I have investigated many building collapses, have attended a coroners court, and have only just been subpoenaed to court over a deck collapse where I did an investigation following a collapse that severely injured several people. One woman lost an arm and was almost killed.
Make an appointment with a local civil or structural engineer, ask him to do a site visit and ask for a design for your building. You will be looking at a footing that is about 4 feet wide with L starter bars engaging into a 16” wide block wall that extends up about 5 feet high before dropping back to 8” wide block work. The wall will be reinforced with ¾” reinforcing bar at 16” centres each way. The blockwork will be core filled with concrete. And there is also the external walls to contend with. The engineer may also choose to have cranked reinforcing bars from the walls engage into the slab.
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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby Danno » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:25 am

I've seen solid concrete basement walls collapse from the hydrostatic pressure of wet backfill. Common practice was always to build on top first, then backfill later. A good product for forming footings is called Form-a-Drain. It stays after pouring and acts as drainage to keep hydrostatic pressure from building up. There are also products to attach to the wall to conduct moisture downward to the drains. I see these steps and methods being bypassed quite often in the name of economy as well as a lack of reinforcement steel in the pours.

Never have used or trusted block for sub-grade building, although I've seen old block foundations that are dry and uncracked.
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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby nickguzzi » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:17 pm

Have you thought of low density foamed concrete as a back fill material?

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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby grandpaul » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:39 pm

Of course you'll need to properly slope the backfill away from the upper walls once complete, perhaps with a layer of moisture barrier, to promote fast runoff of any surface flow, rather than percolation into your walls and footings.
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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby nickguzzi » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:55 pm


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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby Fast Eddie » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:39 am

nickguzzi wrote:https://photos.smugmug.com/Other/Pictures2/n-MbxPq/i-cqzrXvz/0/M/i-cqzrXvz-M.jpg

Needed a French drain.


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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby ando » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:58 am

What Wolfie has built is essentially a gravity wall. A gravity wall relies on its own mass to counteract the force of the fill against it. The hollow block wall has virtually no mass and would have failed without any additional water pressure load. A gravity wall must have a width at the bottom of between ½ and 1/3 the height of the wall. So if that wall is 10’ high it would have to be about 4’ + wide at the bottom with the width of the wall reducing as it gets closer to the top, ie at 5’ from the top it would need to be 2’+ wide. And if constructed with concrete blocks would have to be core filled with concrete to have enough mass.
The wall at 10’ high is supporting fill that has an angle of repose of 2 to 1. (When you add hydrostatic loads there is no angle of repose because water flows level so the force exerted goes up dramatically) So at that, the volume of fill is a triangular prism 20’ long x 10’ high (x 1/2 because it is a triangle) x 30’ which is the width of his shed giving a total volume of 3000 feet cubed. That volume of fill would have a mass of about 120 tons (plus any hydrostatic load) which can never be counteracted by a wall having a mass of bugger all.
Concrete blocks when used for retaining are designed as cantilever walls. A cantilever wall has a wide footing with the blockwork built at the outer edge of the footing to form an L shaped solid unit. Reinforcing steel runs across the footing width and bends at 90 degrees up into the wall which after core filling the blocks is carried out. What stops the cantilever wall from overturning or sliding is that the wall is designed so that the downward pressure exerted by the fill onto the footing, is more than the sideways pressure exerted by the fill.
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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby nickguzzi » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:26 am

McCanns have a plant down the road from me at Littleport. They leave them (middle picture, top row) by the side of the road...

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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby bwolfie » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:51 pm

Some thought and consulting went into this wall. It turned out to be a compounding of delays and weather. There is a sizable footing, re-bar sticking out of it, about 1/4 of the cores were re-bared and filled etc... I had also braced the wall and all was good for over 2 weeks, no change. As you can see in the pictures, only 2 feet of the back-fill has let go once the wall fell, so not the full load of back fill weight on it. I am certain the over 2 inches of rain did it in. I have been running into delays left and right, and if the slab would have been in place no water would have collected in the up hill side and this would haven't happened.

The new plan once I can get this mess cleaned up is to use Insulated wall forms with a 10" core. Both end walls pinned with re-bar at each course, re-bar throughout horizontally and vertically pinned into the footing. The finished side will be sheeted with pressure treated ply and further temporary bracing. Then add 5 yards of 5000 psi concrete, embed some steel in the top of the wall and weld the basement ceiling panels to it. Once the welding is done, then I will finish the back fill. I am also going to add a temporary drain in the bottom center of the new wall to relieve any water that makes it in.

Now to wait until spring.....
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Re: New workshop build, 30' x 50' with a basement!

Postby bwolfie » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:15 pm

Things are thawing out and things are slowly happening. I sourced materials for the mid wall and had them delivered. Also cleared room for a bobcat to get in and around. My friend with the bobcat will be here in a week or two weather dependent. We will get this mess cleaned up and rebuilt and move on to finishing this project.

Winter having a last hoorah!
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New wall....60,000 pounds of interlocking goodness.
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Ready for bobcat
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