BCAB #1206 - 1. Footings for Foundation Walls - Article 126.96.36.199. - 2. Step Footings - Article 188.8.131.52.
May 18, 1990
Re: 1. Footings for Foundation Walls - Article 184.108.40.206.
2. Step Footings - Article 220.127.116.11.
Small buildings, mainly dwellings, permitted to be constructed under Part 9 of the Building Code.
Reason for Appeal
1. Article 18.104.22.168. requires footings under foundation walls that bear on rock or soil unless the safe loadbearing capacity of the rock or soil is not exceeded.
2. Article 22.214.171.124. requires stepped footings to have a maximum vertical rise of 600 mm and a minimum horizontal distance of 600 mm.
1. Footings should not be required for foundation walls bearing on at least dense or compact soil as described in Table 9.4.4.A.
2. Stepped footings should not be required because the bearing capacity of the soil is adequate in the subject area.
Building Official's Position
Comments not provided.
Appeal Board Decision #1206
Part 9 of the Building Code can be described as "prescriptive" because it prescribes methods of construction that are considered safe. This approach allows buildings to be constructed without the services of design professionals such as structural engineers or architects. The trade-off is that the Code does not consider the actual loads acting on the structure but rather envisions the worst case. As long as the prescriptive requirements are followed there is no problem.
1. If the option to omit footings is chosen as referred to in Article 126.96.36.199. of the B.C. Building Code 1985, then this is no longer a prescribed method. The applicant must prove to the satisfaction of the building official that the safe loading capacity of the soil is not exceeded. The building official may require that engineering calculations be provided to verify the design.
2. Similarly, if stepped footings are not constructed according to Article 188.8.131.52., then the building official may require engineering calculations be provided to verify the design.
George R. Humphrey, Chair