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Old 06-24-2006, 01:44 PM   #1
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concrete sono tubes, spans, etc


I am construction a concrete sonotube foundation (no slab)

The structures dimensions are 24 by 24

I am interested if anyone has information on what the neccessary span distancers between sonotubes needs to be.

I am thinking of 8 feet sqaure between tubes.

Anyone have experience ?

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Old 06-24-2006, 03:06 PM   #2
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concrete sono tubes, spans, etc


Quote:
Originally Posted by chickaloon
I am construction a concrete sonotube foundation (no slab)

The structures dimensions are 24 by 24

I am interested if anyone has information on what the neccessary span distancers between sonotubes needs to be.

I am thinking of 8 feet sqaure between tubes.

Anyone have experience ?
You don't provide enough information.

Spans will vary with size (depth and width) of girders, number of stories, type of floor and roof construction, snow loads, and other things.

Provide more detail and perhaps we can help.

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Old 06-24-2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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concrete sono tubes, spans, etc


A piered foundation is typically engineered...and not just undertaken because it looks good. 24 feet square and 16 piers? What exactly are you Building? How large will the piers be? How deep? Soil conditions? Frost line? Piers exposed for how high? How deep in the ground? Bedrock? Concrete strenght? Steel reinforced? etc, etc.

Don't mean to hit you with this, but you get the idea.....lots of info needed.
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:52 AM   #4
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ok...

The structure will NOT be engineered. Codes are not a requirement here, etc....

What I am looking for are some general guidelines.

The snow loads here are generally small. Mabey maximum 1 foot of wet snow on rooflines.

In terms of size of beams for joists, etc...I will be making them...so anything I want. If you had an idea of what a certain size beam could hold over a 24 foot, 12 foot and 8 foot span I could adjust the dimmensions of the materials.

I was thinking of placing concrete piers anywhere from 12 to 8 feet apart. Joists would most likely be approximetely 4-10 inches square depending on notchwork (weakest link?).

It could look something like:

24 ft x 24 ft

3 rows of concrete piers (8 foot spans)

each row would have a skid or rail (8x8's or 6x6's)

then joists would be placed perpendicular to rails (4 foot centers, 6x6's or 8x8's joists)

the rest could be constructed using this same premis. 8 foot spans post and beam. But the real question is how far can I span ? And what is a good guess with a conservative edge ? ....

Take for example the ridge pole. I don't want supports running every 8 feet because that would take up too much space. I want to create an open living space.
So if the ridge pole is going to span 24 feet, how thick should its smallest side be (tree pole taper) before I am going to have to add a support?
For example lets talk about a ridge pole with a 12 inch base and an 8 inch top. And lets talk about a ridge pole with an 18 inch base and a 10 inch top.

the DIRT. 3-4 ft of clay and top soil before you hit rocks and gravel. Fine gravel, huge rocks.
Here's a good question. Is a 4 foot x 4 foot rock, buried 2-3 feet below the surface a better pier than a concrete sonotube buried 3-4 feet down on small gravel? What if you bolt a pier to that rock, or better yet drill re-bar into the rock and pour a concrete sono tube on top...backfill, etc.
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Old 06-27-2006, 03:58 AM   #5
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more info :

sonotubes could be a max of 3-4 feet deep. Building site is on a hill so the up hill side could have piers burried 3-4 ft below grade and 1 foot above.
The downhill side is a whole different story with piers burried 3-4 ft deep, but standing perhaps 5 ft above grade. I was thinking of crossbracing all the piers together.

Frost line... am not certain, but I am guessing 3 feet deep.
This information may be available through builders in the area.
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:13 AM   #6
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It may be worth your time to get a copy of "Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders" from the library or E-Bay. I don't have a clear picture of what you are building so I can't be of any help. Good luck.
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:17 AM   #7
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Don't be so sure there are no prevailing codes or code enforcement for your area.

Contact your municipal code office to determine what should be done and do not rely on builders to provide the information. Many times the builders themselves do not know what code is.

A piered foundation on a slope with clay soil is a disaster waiting to happen....and you have still provided nop usefull information that can be used to determine spans and girder sizes.

Your best option is to engage the services of an architect or engineer who can design this home for you and will properly size your foundation and girders based on the overall loads of the structure.

Right now you are shooting in the dark and simply guessing and asking those of us here to guess if your guesses are correct.

Get the right structural and code advice from local structural and code professionals.
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Old 06-29-2006, 02:03 AM   #8
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There are no codes.

I just thought some of you might have some really general ideas for beam sizes and loads... such as buildings you have built. This kind of info would be helpful.
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Old 07-01-2006, 08:18 AM   #9
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concrete sono tubes, spans, etc


You seem pretty adament about not getting an engineer's take on this. What you are wanting to build in an "engineered" structure however. You could probably just go with what feels right and hope it doesn't crumble, topple, or sway. No codes...what part of Somalia are you building this in?
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Old 07-01-2006, 03:01 PM   #10
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Not banging away at this, lets suppose you build this piered home, and you have guests over....and the house tumbles over on the piers.....you will be a pauper after the fact, since the lawyers will eat you for lunch.

What you described above will not work based on soil and depth...3 to 4 foot bury on a pier is the same as using a concrete fencepost...would you build on fenceposts?

We use piers to achieve alternate methods to foundation a building when we do not want the expense or added weight of solid foundations and piers are typically set to bedrock. I have set piers in holes I have placed a cap in the bottom of to increase the footprint of the overall pier, and then used sono tubes placed in the holes and filled with sand.

When you say no codes, you might be advised to check with the state, since most states have a specific standard when municipalities and counties do not, and typically, it will be the IBC/IRC code...you might get it built without ever getting a permit, or having an inspection, but remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

I will leave this alone now, giving you my best advice, consult with an architect...it may be the best money you ever spent.
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Old 07-02-2006, 05:18 AM   #11
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The building will be built in Alaska.

one thing i have put more thought to is that there may be codes, but permits and blueperints, etc are not required. i guess the codes act as guidelines....so i will search for these....

in the meantime i thought perhaps some of you pessimists may be interested in how buildings are constructed here.

most homes are not to code. and many of them have been built by less than proffessional builders. people here pride themselves on doing it themselves.

and there have not been any buildings that just "crumple"

that is nonsense. most people who have no experience OVER BUILD.

anyway...something new i have been thinking about it bolting the sonotubes to pre-existing boulders that are burried in the ground. either bolting or drilling rebar into them and pouring the sonotube piers on top. i believe these rocks are most likely better situated than any pier i can pour. this seems like a good idea because it makes sense and the huge backhoe that was here the other day could not even get them out ! that seems like a good test...
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Old 07-02-2006, 08:06 AM   #12
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Sorry, Chickaloon
We are pessimistic because we care. We wouldn't want to see someone go thru all the trouble (and cost) of building something only to have it fail...or kill someone. Most of the people you will get advice from here are living some sort of municipality that requires codes be met. If you go to the website akcodes.com this will give you a little better idea of what you need to do as far NO CODE goes. We can't give you engineering advice, because that is site specific, and without being at the site there is no way to make that judgement call. The reason we won't make it is because none of us would undertake such a project without having an engineer or architect look at this structure and design it properly...Sorry
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Old 07-02-2006, 10:11 AM   #13
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concrete sono tubes, spans, etc


Quote:
Originally Posted by chickaloon
The building will be built in Alaska.

one thing i have put more thought to is that there may be codes, but permits and blueperints, etc are not required. i guess the codes act as guidelines....so i will search for these....

in the meantime i thought perhaps some of you pessimists may be interested in how buildings are constructed here.

most homes are not to code. and many of them have been built by less than proffessional builders. people here pride themselves on doing it themselves.

and there have not been any buildings that just "crumple"

that is nonsense. most people who have no experience OVER BUILD.

anyway...something new i have been thinking about it bolting the sonotubes to pre-existing boulders that are burried in the ground. either bolting or drilling rebar into them and pouring the sonotube piers on top. i believe these rocks are most likely better situated than any pier i can pour. this seems like a good idea because it makes sense and the huge backhoe that was here the other day could not even get them out ! that seems like a good test...
Ok..Alaska is great, but then you also have seizmic concerns, also you idea of "bolting" the sonotubes isn't something that would work anyway. Sonotubes are cardboard forms for cylidrical concrete pours. IMO you would need to use rock drills to set pins in the boulders, and then pour to attach. That makes sense I suppose, because the boulders are probably bedrock for your area. However, if they are not deep enough, heave will then become an issue. I am not pessimistic, and I admire anyone with the initiative to build on any scale, IMO you should get the best information possible to determine what you are going to build will work. Good luck.
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Old 07-03-2006, 07:06 AM   #14
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Alaska ia also a very BIG place, and what may work in one location will not work in another.

In most instances you would need to place your foundation below frost depth or to permafrost as the case might be.

Boulders can move and heave when in forozen soil and can move in a quake.

I agree with the others, that this project requires professional local assistance in the design stages.

No one is questioning your abilities nor desire to build, but knowing how to build it right is the key.

You don't want to spend a lot of your or your lender's money and end up with a defective dwelling needing thousands in repairs because it wasn't engineered properly.

Even we professionals consult experts when knowledge beyond our capacity is required.

Nothing wrong with getting proper advice.

Please get it from local structural and design pros.

regards
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Old 07-03-2006, 11:28 AM   #15
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concrete sono tubes, spans, etc


I am a degreed engineer and I have spent the last 13 years working in construction where I've had the opportunity to watch how things are built and glean important techniques and tips from a variety of skilled trade professionals firsthand. I pride myself on the carpentry, plumbing, electrical and finish work skills that I've learned over the years and I agree that there is certainly a great satisfaction from doing the job yourself.

Regardless of the requirements of your particular municipality, I would definitely consult a licensed SE regarding your foundation design. There a so many variables regarding soil and civil conditions that dictate which design parameters/details are feasible and to what degree. A foundation design that is suitable for one geographical area may be completely unacceptable for another. And, if your area is such that the structural design must meet seismic requirements, you're talking a whole different ball of wax altogether. You say "most people who have no experience OVER BUILD." From what I've seen a jillion times, people with no experience build things that are strange, crazy, atypical and often destined to operate inefficiently/incorrectly, if not simply fail altogether. You can overbuild a structure all you want but if the design is flawed, it won't make a lick of difference.

Honestly, consult a licensed SE (Structural Engineer) on this one.

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