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   Foundation Performance
   Association

   Houston, Texas

   Webmaster: Liz Stansfeld

FOUNDATION PERFORMANCE ASSOCIATION HISTORY

Background Information

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, there were areas of significant disagreement in the Greater Houston, Texas engineering community about the design and construction of lightly loaded foundations on expansive soils.  The disagreement stemmed in part from the fact that there were no generally accepted uniform design procedures for both geotechnical and structural designs.  In addition, there were significant differences of opinion within the forensic engineering community regarding the proper approach to evaluating distress in structures.  Further, opinions among engineers on proper repair techniques for lightly loaded foundations on expansive soils varied significantly.

It was clear that engineers in the Greater Houston area were dealing with light foundations in different and sometimes incompatible ways.  A prime example was the significant dispute over the propriety of using void boxes under foundations.  Recognizing the potential benefit to resolving the differences of opinion, Mr. David Eastwood, P.E of Geotech Engineering and Testing started teaching courses on geotechnical foundation engineering to area organizations such as the Greater Houston Builders Association.  Furthermore, Mr. Eastwood engaged in discussions with many area structural and geotechnical engineers regarding residential foundation design in an effort to identify particular areas of disagreement and, when possible, build consensus towards resolving those disagreements.  Some of the earliest discussions took place with Mr. Jack Deal, P.E. of Jack Deal Consultants, who had sharp disagreement with the methods of design and forensic evaluation of foundations by some other consultants.  Another participant in those early discussions was Mr. Dick Peverley, P.E., a forensic engineer who had strong opinions as to causation of distress, evaluation and repair procedures. 

Organization Formation

The early collaborations made it clear that more area professionals should be invited to the discussion.  In or about 1993, the small group decided to start inviting some leading structural engineers to discuss opinions within the structural engineering communities regarding the design and construction of residential and light commercial projects.  In that manner, Mr. Michael Skoller, P.E., Mr. Joe Edwards and Mr. Lowell Brumley, P.E. began to attend the meetings and provide their input.  Approximately two years later, it became evident that an official nonprofit organization should be started to serve the common interest of the group,.  The participants began to lay out a framework for the organization, and also realized that it was advisable to bring an even broader group of professionals to the table.  Thus, invitations to attend were made to foundation repair contractors such as Mr. Dan Jaggers and others.

The growing list of participants formally established a non-profit corporation to meet their common goals.  Initially known as the Foundation Performance Committee, the group later changed to its current name as the Foundation Performance Association.

Purpose

The purpose of the Foundation Performance Association, as stated in its by-laws, includes the following:

  • To serve the public by advancing the skill and the art of engineering analysis, investigation, and consultation in the design, construction, and repair of light structural foundations primarily for residential buildings;

  • To engage in research through the conduct of seminars and the publication of technical papers, books, and articles on the science of residential design, construction and repair of light foundations;

  • To maintain a library of information on the science of design, construction, and repair of light foundations;

  • To establish criteria for the preparation of specifications, geotechnical testing, design analysis, construction techniques, quality control, performance criteria, investigation and failure analysis, and repair techniques for light foundations; for the benefit of the public;

  • To elevate the standards and ethical concepts of those engaged in the light foundation industry, and;

  • To cooperate and share with other related professions engaged in related services information on the science of residential design, construction, and repair of light foundations.

The Foundation Performance Association presently works to achieve those goals through monthly general meetings and numerous committee and subcommittee meeting throughout the year.  Whereas the group started out more than two decades ago as an informal collaboration between a handful of professionals, as of 2015 the Foundation Performance Association has nearly 200 members.

 

 

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