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Soil Bearing Capacity Certificates

The foundation of any structure is one of the most important parts of a building, regardless of whether you are building a high-rise or a home. It is critical for the longevity of your home that the soils supporting the foundation are confirmed to bear the weight of the structure. This is determined through a soil bearing capacity certificate.

Requirements

The Alberta Building Code requires property owners and builders to confirm that the building foundation has a minimum bearing capacity of between 75 and 100 kilopascals. To identify this capacity, an assessment of ground conditions (via a soil bearing capacity certificate) at the footing must be completed by a qualified geo-technical engineer for each home.

Contents

The soil bearing certificate will include information on the soil conditions under the building and may be referred to should an issue be discovered at a later date.

Process

  • The assessment will typically be completed at/or close to when the foundation footings are being poured so the engineer can see where the footings will be placed and what the soil capacity is at the footings.
  • Soil conditions may vary from site-to-site and within the same excavation, so the Alberta Building Code requires thorough testing and confirmation for each home
  • Once the engineer has confirmed the soil is suitable for the foundation, they re expected to produce a report for the property owner. This report is an important part of the permanent documentation for the building and should be kept by the owner.
  • Residents or their contractors will be required to provide a copy of this report to the Municipality as a condition of the building permit when requesting the foundation inspection
  • The Building Safety Codes Officer will also review the report at the time of foundation inspection to confirm the minimum bearing capacity was achieved and if there were any subsequent conditions on the report such as footing size or for foundation or site drainage.

Identifying a Geo-Technical Engineer

There are several qualified geo-technical engineers available to perform the necessary testing. Several local companies have been contacted by the Safety Codes Branch and were informed of the testing requirements and the timeline the reporting will need to be completed by.

More Information

For questions, call the Safety Codes Branch at 780-743-7813 or email inspections@rmwb.ca.

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