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Call for Members – New Foundation Standard

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Development of a new standard ASCE/SEI XX -Criteria for the Design and Construction of Foundations will begin in 2019. The committee will seek new members thru the end of 2018 to begin work on the next edition of the standard. Scott DiFiore, Principal, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc will chair the cycle. Practicing engineers, researchers, building officials, contractors and construction product representatives are all needed and welcome. If you are interested to apply for the committee, please submit an application by via the online form by selecting "SEI" from Institute drop down and then "Design and Construction of Foundations". Carefully indicate the Membership Category for which you are applying. Associate members can be accepted until balloting begins. Eligible regulatory members can qualify for travel reimbursement per ASCE Travel Policy. Contact Jennifer Goupil with questions at or 571-421-3998.

Executive Summary

The purpose of this proposal is to develop a new consensus standard for foundation design.  The new standard will provide comprehensive design and construction information for all types of foundation systems that support buildings and other structures.  The standard will foster better communication between structural and geotechnical engineers as they design and deliver projects and will help building owners and building officials in communicating and delivering projects with a standard language.  United States customary units will be used.  


Design professionals currently leverage multiple references in developing foundation designs, including the International Building Code (IBC), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Standards, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) documents, textbooks, and local codes.  Creating one standard centralizes the relevant information and allows users to focus their review around a central document.  

The new consensus standard will be developed to be referenced by the 2018 IBC.  Complete design and construction criteria required by the engineering community are lacking in the IBC; the changes would be voluminous and impractical to incorporate into the IBC.  Once the new standard is completed, language could be proposed for IBC Chapter 18 stating: "Foundations shall be designed and constructed in accordance the provisions of this chapter or ASCE/SEI XX-XX - Criteria for the Design and Construction of Foundations."


The objective of the proposed standard is to develop standardized methods for design and construction of various types of foundations.  The variety of foundation types has grown over the years, with many elements not currently addressed in the IBC.  As an example, many ground improvement and ground modification techniques are currently used to provide foundation support which are not captured in the IBC or other codes.  The committee will work to identify relevant foundations to include in the new standard.

Rationale for ASCE Involvement

ASCE is the appropriate organization to lead the development of this standard.  It has a body of structural and geotechnical engineers familiar with design guidelines that will be critical in developing the standard. 

Potential Committee Members

Chairman: Scott J. DiFiore, P.E., Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc.

Mr. DiFiore has 23 yrs of experience designing, investigating, and rehabilitating a variety of structures.  Mr. DiFiore utilizes his degrees in both structural and geotechnical engineering as part of his practice.  He leverages his background to solve complex problems related to below-grade construction and soil-structure interaction, including underpinning systems, excavation-support systems, foundations, retaining walls, slopes, tunnels, and other underground structures.  Mr. DiFiore has taught classes in Applied Mechanics at Tufts University, and he currently serves on Geotechnical Advisory Committee that supports the Massachusetts State Building Code.  Previously, Mr. DiFiore served for several years on the Codes and Standards Committee for the Deep Foundations Institute, where he led the effort to incorporate changes into IBC Section 1807.

With the assistance of ASCE, Mr. DiFiore will reach out to appropriate design professionals, professors, contractors, manufacturers, and building officials to develop a diverse committee.

Core User Group

Users of the standard would include but not be limited to design professionals, building officials, and contractors. 

Preliminary Cost and Schedule

3 meetings per year will likely be necessary given the volume of work, most commonly at the ASCE Headquarters in Washington, DC.  SEI will provide ASCE Travel reimbursement for the leadership group to attend the meetings. Eligible regulatory members can qualify for travel reimbursement per ASCE Travel Policy.