Foundations and Retaining Walls


The foundation of a building transfers all of the loads to which the building is subjected to the ground. Most residential foundations are simple spread footings and can be designed prescriptively from the code. However, real foundation behavior is complicated and sometimes lower cost or better performance can be attained through foundation design by a professional engineer. Professional design is required for certain foundation systems that may be necessary for unusually poor soils, flood zone construction and high wind and seismic hazards.

RJD Residential presents a breadth and depth of foundation engineering experience and can provide the following services for residential projects:

  • Subsurface Explorations (Borings, Test Pits, etc.)
  • Geotechnical/Foundation Code Review and Analysis
  • Geotechnical Reports, Design Recommendations and Parameters
  • Assessment of Existing Foundations
  • Design of Basement Walls
  • Design of Complex Foundations:
    • Deep Foundation Elements, Including Piles and Anchors.
    • Underpinning
  • Foundation Repair Design
  • Foundation Drainage and Waterproofing

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are a common landscape design element and may be necessary for construction on a sloping lot, especially in urban areas.

While most retaining walls appear simple, any earth-retaining structure  is susceptible to movement, lean and distress if not properly designed and constructed. These risks are compounded when the retaining structure has to support heavy loads from buildings or vehicular traffic or if the soil is soft or saturated. Therefore earth-retain structures that are more than a few feet tall require engineering design.

The risk of a retaining wall failure can be a major risk for a homeowner. Retaining walls that are more than a few feet high or that are distressed should be periodically inspected by an engineer.

RJD Residential has experience with the design, analysis, investigation and assessment of a variety of retaining wall types as well as other temporary and permanent earth-retaining systems.

Richard J. Driscoll, Consulting Engineer provides engineering and risk management services for foundations, retaining walls and other geostructural systems on non-residential projects.