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   Foundation Performance

   Houston, Texas

   Webmaster: Liz Stansfeld

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 (1.0 PDH)


Owner's Guide to a Better Foundation

Speaker: Gary Beck, P.E., SECB, LEED AP, Eco-Holdings, Tel: 713-377-4209

Mr. Beck is a current FPA Board Member, the FPA-SC-20 Committee Chair and the owner of Eco-Holdings, a Texas civil and structural engineering firm. In addition to engineering, ECO provides design consulting in the areas of energy efficiency, sustainability, and green building. 

Mr. Beck holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering (Duke 1975) and became a Texas P.E. in 1981. He has over 35 years’ in the Construction, Manufacturing, Machinery, and Energy industries.  He is certified by the Structural Engineering Certification Board, is a T.D.I. Wind Storm program engineer, and is a US Green Building Council LEED Accredited Person. 

Mr. Beck's career started in Construction & Mining in 1976 before moving into Oil & Gas. He returned to construction engineering in 2003 when he started Eco-Holdings. His notable accomplishments at ECO include:

  • Engineer-of-Record for Austin’s first LEED Platinum Residence (Trevino-Torres)
  • ASCE Fall 2008 Best-In-Session presentation: “Alternative Building Systems – Lessons Learned from 20 Green Buildings”
  • City of Houston “2009 Proud Partner Award” for work on three USGBC-LEED green home projects and 11 Project Hope low-income/low energy residential projects. 
  • 2011 Engineer-of-Record for Greater Houston’s Largest Solar Array (145 kW)
  • 2015 Engineer-of-Record for Houston’s LEED Platinum Residence (Anderson 312 E 27th)

In addition to his involvement in the FPA, Mr. Beck is also a member of ASCE, USGBC, GHBA, and SIPA.


To an audience of approximately 65 people, Mr. Beck presented the results of the FPA-SC-20 committee that he chairs. The documents included an owner’s checklist toward attaining a better foundation and an interactive online resource. The online resource was created to guide owners and contractors towards smarter installation and construction of pools, pool patios, flatwork, landscaping, and general site drainage.
The FPA-SC-20 committee’s goal in developing these documents has been to help owners and contractors reduce the occurrence of poorly performing foundations caused by the misapplication of these and other common items. 

The guide addresses common items and practices that need to be installed and constructed properly to avoid damaging a foundation.

  • Learn about what should be fixed right away.
  • Read best practices for sprinklers, paving, pools, and patios.
  • Understand preferred tree locations and how to use root barriers.
  • Become more knowledgeable on grading and storm water drainage.

A checklist is provided for discussions with Designers, Engineers, Builders, Pool Contactors, Landscaping Contractors, and Foundation Contractors.

The FPA-SC-20 committee was an ad hoc subcommittee sanctioned by the FPA Structural Committee in April 2013 to produce the documents presented by Mr. Beck. FPA-SC-20, Owners Guide to a Better Foundation was published February 25, 2016 on this website.

To download a copy of Mr. Beck's slide presentation, click here.

To view the current animated version of the presentation online, click here.

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