Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 8372 (December 31, 2022).

34 Pa. Code § 15.16. Foundations.

§ 15.16. Foundations.

 (a)  Permanent grandstands for outdoor use shall be erected upon and attached to concrete or masonry footings extending below the surface of the ground to a depth of either 3 feet or the maximum depth of frost, whichever is greater, unless solid rock is encountered at a lesser depth.

 (b)  Portable grandstands shall be provided by the manufacturers with base plates and sills, floor runners or sleepers of such area that the total live and dead load does not exceed 14 pounds per square inch of the base plate, mud sills, floor runners or sleepers. The owner shall see that all bearing surfaces are in contact.

 (c)  Base plates, mud sills or another part of the structure in contact with the earth may be subject to no stresses other than those caused by the vertical forces resulting from live, dead, sway and wind loads and the horizontal friction resulting from sway and wind loads. The stress shall be limited to those set forth in §  15.20 (relating to painting and treatment of members) reduced as follows:

   (1)  For base members of pressure-treated wood, allowable stresses shall be reduced by 1/4.

   (2)  For base runners of ungalvanized steel, allowable stresses shall be reduced by 2/3.

   (3)  For base members of galvanized steel, no reduction in allowable stress is required.

 (d)  In the absence of definite knowledge of the sustaining power of the earth, different soils, excluding mud and artificial fill, shall be deemed to sustain safely the following loads per square inch:

Pounds per Square Inch
Soft clay 14
Wet sand, firm clay or sand and clay mixed 28
Fine and dry sand 42
Hard, dry clay or coarse sand 50
Gravel 55
Hard pan110
Soft, firm rock140
Medium rock200
Hard rock400

 (e)  For grandstands on artificial fill, either the sustaining power of the earth shall be determined by test, or the foundations shall be extended down to the natural earth, whose sustaining power shall be computed from the loads per square inch set forth in subsection (d).


   The provisions of this §  15.16 adopted August 15, 1933; amended through July 1, 1968.

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  15.11 (relating to applicability).

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.