ADOPTS WITH AMENDMENTS:

International Building Code 2018 (IBC 2018)

Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
The provisions contained in this appendix are not mandatory unless specifically referenced in the adopting ordinance.
The provisions of this chapter apply to grading, excavation and earthwork construction, including fills and embankments. Where conflicts occur between the technical requirements of this chapter and the geotechnical report, the geotechnical report shall govern.

Unless the applicant has submitted an engineering analysis, prepared in accordance with standard engineering practice by a registered design professional, that demonstrates the proposed work will not result in any increase in the level of the base flood, grading, excavation and earthwork construction, including fills and embankments, shall not be permitted in floodways that are in flood hazard areas established in Section 1612.3 or in flood hazard areas where design flood elevations are specified but floodways have not been designated.

The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this appendix, have the meanings shown herein. Refer to Chapter 2 of this code for general definitions.

BENCH. A relatively level step excavated into earth material on which fill is to be placed.

COMPACTION. The densification of a fill by mechanical means.

CUT. See "Excavation."

DOWN DRAIN. A device for collecting water from a swale or ditch located on or above a slope, and safely delivering it to an approved drainage facility.

EROSION. The wearing away of the ground surface as a result of the movement of wind, water or ice.

EXCAVATION. The removal of earth material by artificial means, also referred to as a cut.

FILL. Deposition of earth materials by artificial means.

GRADE. The vertical location of the ground surface.

GRADE, EXISTING. The grade prior to grading.

GRADE, FINISHED. The grade of the site at the conclusion of all grading efforts.

GRADING. An excavation or fill or combination thereof.

KEY. A compacted fill placed in a trench excavated in earth material beneath the toe of a slope.

SLOPE. An inclined surface, the inclination of which is expressed as a ratio of horizontal distance to vertical distance.

TERRACE. A relatively level step constructed in the face of a graded slope for drainage and maintenance purposes.

Except as exempted in Section J103.2, grading shall not be performed without first having obtained a permit therefor from the building official. A grading permit does not include the construction of retaining walls or other structures.

A grading permit shall not be required for the following:

  1. Grading in an isolated, self-contained area, provided that the public is not endangered and that such grading will not adversely affect adjoining properties.
  2. Excavation for construction of a structure permitted under this code.
  3. Cemetery graves.
  4. Refuse disposal sites controlled by other regulations.
  5. Excavations for wells, or trenches for utilities.
  6. Mining, quarrying, excavating, processing or stockpiling rock, sand, gravel, aggregate or clay controlled by other regulations, provided that such operations do not affect the lateral support of, or significantly increase stresses in, soil on adjoining properties.
  7. Exploratory excavations performed under the direction of a registered design professional.

Exemption from the permit requirements of this appendix shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any other laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

Whenever the building official determines that any existing excavation or embankment or fill on private property has become a hazard to life and limb, or endangers property, or adversely affects the safety, use or stability of a public way, easement, storm sewer system, or drainage channel, the owner of the property upon which the excavation or fill is located, or other person or agent in control of said property, upon receipt of notice in writing from the building official, shall within the period specified therein repair or eliminate such excavation or embankment to eliminate the hazard and to be in conformance with the requirements of this code.
In addition to the provisions of Section 105.3, the applicant shall state the estimated quantities of excavation and fill. All projects that require grading shall have a grading plan prepared, stamped, and signed by a registered design professional.
Exception: At the option of the building official, if the structure is located outside of a flood hazard area the following projects may be exempted from having a grading plan. Projects exempted from a grading plan must still comply with the grading and drainage requirements in the IBC.
  1. Structures, additions, or remodels with a footprint less than 600 square feet.
  2. Decks, shade structures, and patio covers accessory to a one or two family dwelling.
  3. Mobile homes, trailers, and modular buildings that are not considered real property.
  4. Carports.
  5. Signs, light poles, and communication towers
All grading plans shall be prepared, stamped, and signed by a registered design professional. The following items must be included on all grading plan submittals.
  1. General vicinity of the proposed site.
  2. Property limits and accurate contours of existing ground and details of terrain and area drainage.
  3. Limiting dimensions, elevations or finish contours to be achieved by the grading, proposed drainage channels and related construction.
  4. Location of any buildings or structures on the property where the work is to be performed and the location of any buildings or structures on land of adjacent owners that are within 100 feet of the property or that may be affected by the proposed grading operations.
  5. Recommendations included in the geotechnical report shall be incorporated in the grading plans or specifications as follows:
    1. Locations and dimensions of all cut and fill slopes,
    2. Locations of all cross sections presented in the geotechnical report,
    3. Locations and sizes of all recommended remedial measures such as buttress fills, stability fills, deep foundation systems, reinforced earth, retaining walls, etc.,
    4. Location and layout of proposed subdrainage system.
  6. A statement that the site shall be graded in accordance with the approved geotechnical report. This statement shall include the firm name that prepared the geotechnical report, the report number, and the date of the geotechnical report.
  7. Locations of other existing topographic features either natural or man-made such as streets, drainage structures, pavements, walls, mining pits, etc.
  8. The cut to fill transition line.
  9. Positive drainage away from the foundation per Section 1804.3.
  10. Details and cross sections at property lines, fence walls, retaining walls, berms, etc.
  11. Elevation datum and benchmarks (NAVD 88).
  12. Existing contours at least 100 feet beyond the property lines.
  13. Proposed finish contours or spot elevations at the property corners, building pad, and at swale flow lines.
  14. Elevations of curbs or centerlines of roads or streets.
  15. Earthwork quantities in cubic yards.
  16. Finish floor elevations.
  17. Details and cross sections of typical fill slopes and cut slopes.
  18. Typical details of fill-over-natural slopes and fill-over-cut slopes where fill is to be placed on natural or cut slopes steeper than 5H:1V in accordance with Section J107.
  19. Setback dimensions of cut and fill slopes from site boundaries per Section J108.
  20. The placement of buildings and structures on and or adjacent to slopes steeper than 3H:1V (33.3% slope) shall be in accordance with Section 1808.7.
  21. Provide terracing in accordance with Section J109 for slopes steeper than 3H:1V (33.3% slope).
  22. Provide the locations and dimensions of all terrace drains for all slopes steeper than 3H:1V in accordance with Section J109.
  23. The standard notes specified in the Las Vegas Valley Construction Site Best Management Practice Guidance Manual (most current edition).
  24. Registered design professional original seal (wet seal), signature and date or a Records stamp and signature stating, "This is a true and exact copy of the original document on file in this office."

A geotechnical report prepared by a registered design professional shall be provided. The report shall comply with Section 1803.6.

For sites with mapped maximum considered earthquake spectral response accelerations at short periods (Ss) greater than 0.5g as determined by Section 1613, a study of the liquefaction potential of the site shall be provided and the recommendations incorporated in the plans.

Exception: A liquefaction study is not required where the building official determines from established local data that the liquefaction potential is low.

Inspection of grading operations shall comply with the provisions of this section. The permittee shall be responsible for the work to be performed in accordance with the approved plans and specifications and in conformance with the provisions of this code. The permittee shall engage an approved agency, if required by the building official.
Report submittal shall be in compliance with Section 1704.1.2.

Upon completion of pad grading (or foundation excavation) and prior to a footing or foundation inspection, a Final Grading report shall be provided by an approved agency. Grading (or foundation excavation) shall be observed and tested by an approved agency. The approved agency shall prepare the report, signed by a registered design professional certifying that the grading and earthwork are complete and substantially comply with the requirements of the geotechnical report of record including any approved supplements or addenda. At the option of the building official, a Pad Certification report submitted in accordance with Section J105.1.3 may be accepted as an interim report prior to a footing or foundation inspection. A Final Grading report will then be required prior to receiving a Final Inspection.

The final grading report shall state that the engineer for grading inspections is certifying that all grading recommendations in the approved geotechnical report (including any approved updates or addenda) have been followed. Noncompliance reports shall be written when the grading contractor did not follow the recommendations of the approved report or when site conditions did not match those indicated in the approved geotechnical report. The engineer for grading inspections shall not authorize any revisions to the approved geotechnical report without the written consent of the geotechnical engineer of record.

The Final Grading report itself will contain all applicable test data and analysis of the data. Specific project information is also required if there were any changes to the geotechnical report of record or unusual circumstances encountered during grading. The report shall also include the following information:

  1. Compaction test results, requirements, locations, depth of backfill at test locations and names of technicians conducting the tests.
  2. Moisture Density values and curves that include classifications for all soils used in the grading operation.
  3. Description of structure or pad including the proposed use.
  4. Grading plan showing approximate locations of tests, dates and depths of over-excavation observations, original contours and finish pad elevations.
  5. Swell and solubility test requirements and results. This information shall be provided if required by the geotechnical report of record, elsewhere in the code, or if imported soils were utilized.
  6. Type of foundation system applicable to work being certified (i.e. spread footings, strip footings, combination footings, drilled shafts etc.).
  7. Import material used, source of import, and tests indicating compliance with the geotechnical report of record recommendations
  8. Classification of Sulfate Exposure for foundation soils in relation to ACI 318-14 Section 19.3.2.
  9. All daily reports, test data, non-compliance reports, and records of corrections.
  10. A statement describing the process of pad grading. Where applicable, this shall include, but not be limited to the minimum depth of over-excavation, blending operations, the use of import soils, nested aggregate, organics encountered, and removal of unsuitable soils.
  11. The preceding requirements shall be presented for each pad or structure being certified.

The final grading report shall state that the engineer for grading inspections is certifying that all grading recommendations in the approved geotechnical report (including any approved updates or addenda) have been followed. Noncompliance reports shall be written when the grading contractor did not follow the recommendations of the approved report or when site conditions did not match those indicated in the approved geotechnical report. The engineer for grading inspections shall not authorize any revisions to the approved geotechnical report without the written consent of the geotechnical engineer of record. The Final Grading report remains valid for a maximum of six months after the completion of grading. The six month period begins at the first test date of the final test of the final lift of the structural pad. Once expired, a Pad Recertification report is required.

This letter/report is used as an interim document until a Final Grading report is completed (i.e., a Final Grading report for the entire project or a particular phase(s) of a project). The approved agency shall prepare this report signed by a registered design professional and certifying that the grading and earthwork are complete and substantially comply with the requirements of the geotechnical report of record including any approved supplements or addenda. Specific project information is also required if there were any changes to the geotechnical report of record or unusual circumstances encountered during grading.

This report shall include the following information for each pad or structure:

  1. The first test date of the final test of the final lift.
  2. Permit number and pad or structure description.
  3. Classification of Sulfate Exposure for foundation soils in relation to ACI 318-14 Section 19.3.2.
  4. Classification of foundation soil for expansive properties (i.e. non-expansive or results from standard 60 pounds per square foot swell test).
  5. The name(s) of the approved special inspector(s) and any technicians that observed grading or foundation improvements.

This report remains valid for no longer than six months after the completion of grading. The six month period begins at the first test date of the final test of the final lift of the structural pad. Upon expiration, a Final Grading report and Pad Recertification report will be required.

This report is required when a Final Grading report or Pad Certification report has expired or if required by the building official. The approved agency shall prepare this report signed by a registered design professional certifying the current suitability of the pad(s). The condition of the pad(s) is discussed, tests performed and their results are presented and discussed, and any additional grading or reworking is discussed. The conclusions are stated and based upon the current condition of the pad(s) compared to completion at original grading and a statement that the current condition of the pad(s) substantially complies with the requirements of the geotechnical report of record including any approved supplements or addenda.

As a minimum, pad moisture data and standard sixty pounds per square foot swell test results, if applicable, are included in this report. The tests shall be conducted on a representative number of pads.

The report remains valid for no longer than six months after the latest test date. Once expired, the pad(s) recertification will require an evaluation by a registered design professional to confirm the applicability of current site conditions.

A registered design professional shall certify the lowest habitable finished floor elevation to the elevation on the approved plans upon completion of the slab inspection and placement or the placement of the final construction form for the finished floor. All certifications required by this section shall be provided to and accepted by the building official prior to performance of any additional inspections. The minimum finished floor elevation shall comply with the approved plans and the allowable tolerance shall be minus (-) 0.0 feet to plus (+) 0.3 feet of the finished floor elevation detailed on the approved plans.

Upon completion of final grading, and prior to the final building inspection, a statement of compliance for drainage shall be provided by the registered design professional in responsible charge or the developer when approved by the building official.

This report shall state that site conditions at the time of final construction provide positive drainage in compliance with the approved drainage plan or the plot and grading plan.

When engineered drainage features, facilities, or structures are required by the approved plans, the registered design professional in responsible charge shall verify that installed and constructed elements are in compliance with the approved plans. This includes site detention, lot to lot drainage, and drainage conveyance devices.

If in the course of fulfilling their respective duties under this appendix, the registered design professional or the approved agency finds that the work is not being done in conformance with this appendix or the approved plans the discrepancies shall be immediately reported in writing to the contractor, the permittee, and to the building official.
The special inspection requirements of Section 1704 shall apply to work performed under a grading permit where required by the building official.

The slope of cut surfaces shall be not steeper than is safe for the intended use, and shall be not more than one unit vertical in two units horizontal (50-percent slope) unless the owner or the owner's authorized agent furnishes a geotechnical report justifying a steeper slope.

Exceptions:

  1. A cut surface shall be permitted to be at a slope of 1.5 units horizontal to one unit vertical (67-percent slope) provided that all of the following are met:

    1. 1.1 It is not intended to support structures or surcharges.
    2. 1.2 It is adequately protected against erosion.
    3. 1.3 It is not more than 8 feet (2438 mm) in height.
    4. 1.4 It is approved by the building code official.
    5. 1.5 Ground water is not encountered.
  2. A cut surface in bedrock shall be permitted to be at a slope of one unit horizontal to one unit vertical (100-percent slope).
Unless otherwise recommended in the geotechnical report, fills shall comply with the provisions of this section.
The ground surface shall be prepared to receive fill by removing vegetation, topsoil and other unsuitable materials, and scarifying the ground to provide a bond with the fill material.

Where existing grade is at a slope steeper than one unit vertical in five units horizontal (20-percent slope) and the depth of the fill exceeds 5 feet (1524 mm) benching shall be provided in accordance with Figure J107.3. A key shall be provided that is not less than 10 feet (3048 mm) in width and 2 feet (610 mm) in depth.

For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

FIGURE J107.3

BENCHING DETAILS

Fill material shall not include organic, frozen or other deleterious materials. Rock or similar irreducible material greater than 12 inches (305 mm) in any dimension shall not be included in fills.
All fill material shall be compacted to 90 percent of maximum density as determined by ASTM D1557, Modified Proctor, in lifts not exceeding 12 inches (305 mm) in depth.
The slope of fill surfaces shall be not steeper than is safe for the intended use. Fill slopes steeper than one unit vertical in two units horizontal (50-percent slope) shall be justified by a geotechnical report or engineering data.

Cut and fill slopes shall be set back from the property lines in accordance with this section. Setback dimensions shall be measured perpendicular to the property line and shall be as shown in Figure J108.1, unless substantiating data is submitted justifying reduced setbacks.

For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm.

FIGURE J108.1

DRAINAGE DIMENSIONS

The setback at the top of a cut slope shall be not less than that shown in Figure J108.1, or than is required to accommodate any required interceptor drains, whichever is greater.

Where required to protect adjacent properties at the toe of a slope from adverse effects of the grading, additional protection, approved by the building official, shall be included. Examples of such protection include but are not be limited to:

  1. Setbacks greater than those required by Figure J108.1.
  2. Provisions for retaining walls or similar construction.
  3. Erosion protection of the fill slopes.
  4. Provision for the control of surface waters.

Unless otherwise recommended by a registered design professional, drainage facilities and terracing shall be provided in accordance with the requirements of this section.

Exception: Drainage facilities and terracing need not be provided where the ground slope is not steeper than one unit vertical in three units horizontal (33-percent slope).

Terraces not less than 6 feet (1829 mm) in width shall be established at not more than 30-foot (9144 mm) vertical intervals on all cut or fill slopes to control surface drainage and debris. Suitable access shall be provided to allow for cleaning and maintenance.

Where more than two terraces are required, one terrace, located at approximately mid-height, shall be not less than 12 feet (3658 mm) in width.

Swales or ditches shall be provided on terraces. They shall have a minimum gradient of one unit vertical in 20 units horizontal (5-percent slope) and shall be paved with concrete not less than 3 inches (76 mm) in thickness, or with other materials suitable to the application. They shall have a depth not less than 12 inches (305 mm) and a width not less than 5 feet (1524 mm).

A single run of swale or ditch shall not collect runoff from a tributary area exceeding 13,500 square feet (1256 m2) (projected) without discharging into a down drain.

Interceptor drains shall be installed along the top of cut slopes receiving drainage from a tributary width greater than 40 feet (12 192 mm), measured horizontally. They shall have a minimum depth of 1 foot (305 mm) and a minimum width of 3 feet (915 mm). The slope shall be approved by the building official, but shall be not less than one unit vertical in 50 units horizontal (2-percent slope). The drain shall be paved with concrete not less than 3 inches (76 mm) in thickness, or by other materials suitable to the application. Discharge from the drain shall be accomplished in a manner to prevent erosion and shall be approved by the building official.
Drainage across property lines shall not exceed that which existed prior to grading. Excess or concentrated drainage shall be contained on site or directed to an approved drainage facility. Erosion of the ground in the area of discharge shall be prevented by installation of nonerosive down drains or other devices.

The faces of cut and fill slopes shall be prepared and maintained to control erosion. This control shall be permitted to consist of effective planting.

Exception: Erosion control measures need not be provided on cut slopes not subject to erosion due to the erosion-resistant character of the materials.

Erosion control for the slopes shall be installed as soon as practicable and prior to calling for final inspection.

Where necessary, check dams, cribbing, riprap or other devices or methods shall be employed to control erosion and provide safety.
ASTM D1557-12Test Method for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil Using Modified Effort [56,000 ft-lb/ft3 (2,700 kN-m/m3)].J107.5
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