University of Nairobi
Department of Civil and Construction Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering (FCE 511)
Teaching notes
By Sixtus Kinyua Mwea
2015
University of Nairobi –FCE 511 Geotechnical Engineering IV
Syllabus
FCE 511  Geotechnical Engineering III
Foundations:
Shallow Foundations
Introduction. Foundation loading intensities. Bearing capacity, (ultimate, safe, gross and allowable). Influence of ground water table, sloping ground, inclined and eccentric loads on allowable bearing capacity. Design of shallow foundations for shear strength and settlements. Examples of foundation design (e.g. strips, pad), combined footings, raft footings.
Piled Foundation
Types of piles driven and bored pile, friction and end bearing pile. Design of piles by soil mechanics methods, end bearing, skin friction and ultimate bearing resistance. Piles in sands. Piles in cohesive soils  total and effective stress analysis. Design from pile tests data. End bearing piles on rock. Settlement of piles. Dynamic formula. Negative skin friction. Pile groups  bearing capacity in cohesive and cohesionless soils.
Introduction to Earth Dams
Design of earth embankment  homogenous and zoned dams. Definitions e.g. fetch, water spread, shell free board etc. Factors influencing site selection. Spillways. Settlements of embankments. Protection of upstream and downstream slopes.
Site Investigations
Introduction, purpose of Site Investigation, organization of Site investigation for different types of structures e.g. buildings, irrigation or water supply projects, highways and airport pavements, etc. Methods of Investigation. Sampling. Borehole logs. Geophysical methods. Geotechnical reports.
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Table of contents
Syllabus 
i 

Chapter one 
1 

Shallow foundations 
1 

1.1 
Types of foundations 
1 
1.2 
Introduction to shallow foundations 
1 
1.2 
Bearing capacity of soils 
2 
1.2.1 Bearing capacity terms 
2 

1.2.2 Ultimate bearing capacity 
3 

1.2.3 The net foundation pressure 
12 

1.2.4 Allowable bearing pressure 
13 

1.2.5 Field methods for the determination of bearing capacity of soils 
14 

1.2.6 Presumed bearing capacity of soils and rocks 
23 

1.3 
Proportioning of shallow foundations 
24 
1.3.1 
Contact pressure distribution 
24 
1.3.1 
Proportioning the foundations 
25 
1.3.2 
General consideration in the selection of the foundation depth 
34 
1.3.3 
Foundations for common buildings 
35 
1.4 
Foundations for difficult soils 
36 
1.4.1 Foundations on expansive clays 
36 

1.4.2 Foundations on loose sands 
41 

1.5 
Tutorial examples on chapter one 
43 
Chapter two 
45 

Deep Foundations 
45 

2.1 
Pile foundations 
45 
2.1.1 
Introduction 
45 
2.1.2 
Classification of Piles by materials and construction 
46 
2.1.3 
Driven piles 
48 
2.1.4 
Bored piles 
51 
2.1.5 
Determination of pile load carrying capacity 
53 
2.1.6 
Determination of load carrying capacity dynamic methods 
59 
2.1.6 
Determination of load carrying capacity pile testing 
61 
2.1.7 
Negative skin friction 
62 
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2.1.8
Pile groups
64
2.2 
Drilled piers and Caisson Foundations 
66 
2.2.1 Drilled piers 
66 

2.2.2 Caisson Foundations 
66 

2.4 Examples of Piling Schemes 
71 

2.5 Tutorial examples on chapter two 
71 

Chapter Three 
73 

Introduction to Earth Dams 
73 

3.1 Introduction 
73 

3.2 Selection of type of earth dam 
74 

3.2.1 Diaphragm types 
74 

3.2.2 Homogenous types 
75 

Zoned types 
75 

3.2 
Design Principles 
76 
3.3.1 Foundation design 
76 

3.3.2 Embankment Design 
79 

3.3 Inspection of existing dams 
81 

3.4 Examples of earth dams in Kenya 
82 

Chapter Four 
88 

Site Investigation 
88 

4.1 
Introduction 
88 
4.1.2 
Planning a site investigation 
89 
4.2 
Preliminary and detailed stage site investigations 
91 
4.2.1 Preliminary stage site investigations 
91 

4.2.2 Detailed stage site investigations 
92 

4.2.3 Sampling 
97 

4.2.4 Scope of Site Investigation 
101 

4.2.5 Site Investigation Reports 
102 

References: 
103 
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Geotechnical Engineering IV
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Chapter one:  Shallow foundations
1.1 Types of foundations
Foundations that are encountered in practice may be classified into two broad categories namely shallow and deep foundations. Under shallow foundations the following categories are usually encountered:
a) Strip foundations for wall and closely spaced columns
b) Spread or isolated footings for individual columns. In this category it is usual to consider combined foundations for two or three closely spaced columns as spread or isolated footings
c) Raft foundations covering large sections of the foundation area
The design and construction of shallow foundations is dealt with in this chapter.
Under deep foundations the following two types of foundations are encountered :
a) Piles
b) Caissons
The design and construction of deep foundations is dealt with in the next chapter. In the selection of the foundations to adopt for a structure it is usually necessary to consider the function of the structure, its loads, the subsurface conditions and the cost of the foundation being adopted in comparison to other possible types of foundations.
1.2 Introduction to shallow foundations
The foundation is the part of the structure that transmits the loads directly to the underlying soil. If the soil is sufficiently strong it is possible to use shallow foundation. On the other hand if the soil is not strong enough the foundation is taken deeper into the ground and is referred to as a deep foundation. A definition which sometimes conflicts with the definition of the shallow foundation defines a shallow foundation as one whose depth is less or equal to its least width. The foundation must satisfy two fundamental requirements:
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Shallow foundations
1. The factor of safety against shear failure must be adequate. A value of 3 to 5 is usually specified.
2. The settlement of the foundation should be tolerable and in particular differential settlement should not cause any unacceptable damage o interfere with the function of the structure.
3. The allowable bearing capacity is defined as the pressure which may be applied to the soil to enable the two fundamental conditions to be satisfied
The damage being mitigated in the design of the structures can be classified as architectural, functional or structural. In the case of framed structures settlement damage is usually confined to the cladding and finishes (architectural damage). It is usual to expect a certain amount of damage. What is critical is to ensure that the damage to the services is limited. Angular distortion limits were proposed by Craig (1987) and are shown on Table 1.1. In general the limiting angular distortion to prevent damage is 1/300. For individual footings this translates to a maximum settlement of about 50mm in sand and 75mm in clay. An accurate damage criterion is to limit the tensile strain at which the cracking occurs. The concept of tensile strain should be used in analysis using an idealization of the structure and the foundation in elastic strain analysis when the fundamental properties of the foundations are known.
Table 1.1 Angular distortion limits
1/150 
Structural damage of general buildings may be expected 
1/250 
Tilting of high rigid buildings may be visible 
1/300 
Cracks in panel walls expected Difficulties with overhead cranes 
1/500 
Limit for buildings in which cracking is not permissible 
1/600 
Overstressing of structural frames without diagonals 
1/750 
Difficulties with machinery sensitive to settlement 
The design of the foundations is usually a two process exercise. The first is to determine the allowable bearing of the soil while the second is to size the foundation on the design strata based on the allowable bearing capacity. These two parts are now discussed.
1.2 
Bearing capacity of soils 
1.2.1 
Bearing capacity terms 
The following terms are used in bearing capacity problems
Ultimate bearing capacity is the value of the average contact pressure between the foundation and the soil which will produce shear failure in the soil.
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Shallow foundations
The net foundation pressure is the increase in the pressure at the foundation level due to the structure loads The safe net foundation pressure is the net foundation pressure divided by a suitable factor of safety
Allowable bearing pressure is the maximum allowable net loading intensity on the soil allowing for both shear and settlement effects.
1.2.2 Ultimate bearing capacity
If a load is increased at the foundation level, shear failure would take place in the foundation at a load which can be referred to as failure load. The resulting pressure at the base of the foundation is known as the ultimate bearing capacity of the soil Three distinct modes of failure have been identified and these are illustrated in Figure 1.1 in the case of strip footing. As the pressure increases on the foundation layer the state of plastic equilibrium is reached initially in the soil around the edges of the footing and then spreads downwards and outwards. Ultimately the state of plastic equilibrium is reached throughout above the failure surfaces. The soil around the footing heaves on both sides. At the moment of failure one side continues to settle at a higher rate and the strip footing tilts.
This behavior is exhibited by soils of low compressibility (Figure
Local shear failure
is characterized by local development of plastic conditions usually below the foundation. The plastic conditions do not reach the surface and only slight heaving is expected. This kind of failure is expected with soils of high compressibility and is associated with large settlements (Figure 1.1b). These soils include dense and stiff soils. Punching shear occurs when shearing takes place directly below the footing under compression from load. No heaving is of the ground is expected by the side of the footing. Large settlements are characteristics of this mode of failure and are typical of soils of high compressibility and foundations at considerable depth (Figure 1.1c). In general the mode of failure will depend of the compressibility of the soil and the depth of the foundation.
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Figure 1.1 Modes of failure of foundations
Pressure
Bearing capacity by use of earth pressure analogy The earth pressure analogy can be explained by consideration of a strip footing on a cohesionless soil as shown on Figure 1.3
Figure 1. 2 Pressure below a strip footing
The vertical pressure is q which is a result of the structure loads. By use of Rankine active pressure theory, a lateral pressure p holds the soil in equilibrium below the foundation. For particles just beyond the edge of the foundation the lateral pressure is more than the vertical pressure γD resulting from the overburden. The vertical pressure γD is the minor principle stress and p is the principal stress. By use of the Rankine earth pressure theory Equations 1.1 through 1.3 can be deduced.
pq(1sin)/(1sin) (inside the foundation)
pD(1sin)/(1sin) (outside the foundation)
1. 1
2
qD((1sin)/(1sin))
(ultimate bearing capacity)1. 3
1. 2
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Shallow foundations
For a cohesionless soil the bearing capacity is dependent on the overburden and equals to
zero for a foundation on the ground surface. Bells development for a cυ is given in Equation
1.4
qD
((1
si
)/(1 sin ))
c
2
2
((1
sin )/(1 sin )
3
c
2
(1
sin )/(1 sin )
.1. 4
For a purely υ =0 soil the ultimate bearing capacity is given by Equation 1.5
qD4c
1. 5
Bearing capacity by use slip circle analogy The slip circle analogy can be explained by consideration of a strip footing on a cohesive soil as shown on Figure 1.3
Figure 1. 3 A slip circle analogy of a strip footing
The foundation is assumed to fail by rotation about a slip surface of radius equal to the width of the base B and at the edge of the foundation O. At ultimate conditions the disturbing moment (M _{d} ) is given by Equation 1.6
M
d
q
*
L
*
B
* B
2
1. 6
The resisting moment (M _{r} ) about O is a summation of the resistance due to the cohesion on the cylindrical surface, on the vertical surface and the weight of the overburden as given in Equation 1.7
M
r
cLB
2
DLB
2
2
CDLB
1. 7
At ultimate conditions the disturbing moment is equal to the resisting moment and the ultimate bearing Equation for a υ = 0 soil is given by Equation 1.8
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Shallow foundations
q
6.28(1
c
0.32 D
B
D
0.16
c
)
1. 8
Plastic theory failure
A suitable failure under a strip footing is shown on Figure 1.2. The footing of width b and
infinite length carries a uniform pressure of magnitude q _{f} . The shear strength parameters for
the soil are c and υ. The unit weight of the soil is assumed to be zero. At ultimate bearing capacity the soil is pushed downwards into the soil mass producing a state of plastic equilibrium in the form of an active Rankine zone below the footing where the angles ABC and BAC are each 45+υ/2. The zone ABC resists movement and is intact with the base. It suffers no much deformation. The downward movement of the wedge ABC forces the adjoining soil to move sideways. Passive Rankine zones ADE and GBF are developed and angles AEF and BFG are 45υ/2. these zones confine the movement of the wedge EDA and BGF. The transition between the downward movement of the wedge ABC and the lateral movement of the wedge EDA and BGF takes place through zones of radial shear ACD and BCG. The surfaces DC and CG are logarithmic spirals. The soil above EDCGF is in a state
of plastic equilibrium while the rest of the soil is in state of elastic equilibrium.
q f
Figure 1. 4 Failure under a strip footing
Using plastic theory the ultimate bearing capacity below a strip footing on a surface of a weightless soil is given by Equation 1.9. This is for undrained condition where υ _{u} = 0
qf (2)cu 5.14cu
1.9
In 
general the foundation is located at a depth and imposes a surcharge q _{o} = γD. The weight 
of 
the surcharge and the pressure of the foundation produce stresses on the moving masses of 
soil at plastic conditions. The ultimate bearing capacity of the soil under shallow strip footing can be expressed by the following general equation suggested by Terzaghi.
qf 0.5BN CNc DNq
1. 10
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Shallow foundations
N _{γ} , N _{c} and N _{q} are bearing capacity factors which depend on the values of υ. N _{γ} represents the contribution to the bearing capacity resulting from the self weight of the soil. N _{c} is the contribution due to the constant component of the shear strength and N _{q} is the contribution of the surcharge pressure. Values of N _{γ} , N _{c} and N _{q} can be obtained from Equations 1.11 through 1.13 the values for N _{c} and N _{q} were suggested by Meyerhof (1955) while the values of N _{γ} , were suggested by Hansen (1970) These values are plotted in terms of υ in Figure 1. 5.
N Nc (Nq 1.5(Nq 1)cot 1)tan
Nqtan(45 /2)e
2
tan
1. 11
1. 12
1. 13
φ  Degrees
Figure 1. 5 Bearing capacity factors for shallow foundations
Bearing capacity for square, round and rectangular foundations The problem involves extending what is basically a two dimension problem in a strip footing to a three dimension problem in other foundation shapes. The bearing capacity factors for square and round foundations are shown on Equations 1.14 and 1.15 respectively.
q0.3BN q0.4BN 1.3cNc 1.3cNc DNq DNq
1. 14
1. 15
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Shallow foundations
The factors for rectangular footing are an interpolation of the square and the strip footing and are shown on Equation 1.16
q0.5BN(10.2B/L)cNc(10.3B/L)DNq
1. 16
It showed be noted that the values of the bearing capacity factors are very sensitive to the values of shear strength parameters c and υ. Due consideration should therefore be given to the degree of accuracy of these values. In general the following observations have been made
a) In cohesive soils the contribution of cohesion c to the bearing capacity dominates
b) The depth factor dominates for cohesionless soils
c) The base factor is usually neglected for values of B less than 4 meters
d) A footing at the surface has no bearing capacity if N _{γ} is neglected
e) The equations are applicable to uniform soils and in the case of stratified soils an engineering judgment is always required.
Skempton’s values of N _{c} Skempton (1951) showed that for a cohesive soil (υ =0) the value of N _{c} increases with the value of foundation depth D. He suggested that the values of N _{c} applicable to circular, square and strip foundations are given in Figure 1.6. The value of the rectangular footings of dimensions BxL (where B<L) is the value of a square footing multiplied by (0.84+0.16B/L).
Nc
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
D/B
Figure 1.6 Skempton’s values of Nc for a φ =0 soil
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Shallow foundations
Eccentric and Inclined loading Eccentric and inclined loadings have an effect of reducing the foundation bearing capacity. In the case of a foundation with a vertical load such that the eccentricities are e _{b} and e _{l} (Figure 1.7 ) the effective foundation dimensions are shown as B’ and L’ The resulting load is distributed over the effective foundation dimensions. The values of B’ and L’ are given in Equations 1.17 and 1.18
B'B2eB L'L2eL
1. 17
1. 18
In the case of inclined load (Figure 1.8) on a width B and inclination the effective foundation width is B2e. In addition the bearing capacity factors are multiplied by the inclination factors shown on Equations 1.19 and 1.20
ic i iq (1/) (1 /90)
2
o
2
1. 19
1. 20
1) The base of a long retaining wall is 3m wide and is 1m below the ground in front of the retaining wall. The water table is well below the base level. The vertical and horizontal components of the base are 282kN/m and 102kN/m respectively. The eccentricity of the base reaction is 0.36m. The appropriate shear strength parameters are c’= 0 and υ’ = 35 ^{o}^{.} The unit weight of soil is 18kN/m ^{3} .
Determine the factor of safety against shear failure
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1 m
Solution 

For υ’ = 35 ^{o}^{,} 
N _{γ} = 41 and N _{q} = 33 
102kN/m
The angle of the inclination to the vertical α = tan ^{}^{1} (102/282) = 20o hence the inclination factors according to Meyerhof are
The ultimate bearing capacity is given by
The factor of safety
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Shallow foundations
An alternative approach in the case of inclined loads is to use the empirical formula shown on Equation 1.21
Figure 1. 7 Effective dimensions for pads subjected to eccentric loads
PV /Pav PH /Pah 1
1. 21
Where P _{v} is the vertical component of the inclined load and P _{H} is the horizontal component of the inclined load. P _{v}_{a} is the allowable vertical load and P _{H}_{a} is the horizontal load (a fraction of the available passive resistance).
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Figure 1.8. Foundation with inclined load
1.2.3 The net foundation pressure
The actual pressure on the soil due to the weight of the structure is called the total foundation pressure q. The net foundation pressure q _{n}_{e}_{t} is the increase in the pressure at the foundation level. This is the total foundation pressure less the effective weight of the soil permanently removed during excavation and is given in Equation 1.22
qnett qD
1. 22
For a strip footing the net foundation pressure is shown on equation 1.23
qnett 0.5BN cNc D(Nq1)
1. 23
The safe net bearing pressure (q _{s}_{a}_{f}_{e} ) is the net bearing pressure factored by an appropriate factor of safety as shown on Equation 1.24
qsafeqnett/FO
1. 24
It is usual to use conservative factors of F usually between 3 and 5. Due to uncertainties in
the determination of the strength parameters
and determination of the of the service load,
for comparison the following factors of safety (Table 1.2) are used in other geotechnical works
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Shallow foundations
Table 1. 2 Typical factor of safety values for geotechnical works
Failure mode 
Type of works 
FOS 
Shear 
Earthworks 
1.21.6 
Shear 
Retaining walls 
1.52.0 
Shear 
Sheet piles 
1.21.5 
Seepage 
Uplift 
1.52.5 
Shear 
Bearing Capacity 
35 
Effect of ground water Water table below the foundation level If the water table is at a depth not less than B below the foundation level the expression for the net ultimate bearing capacity is given in Equation 1.23 above. However the when the water table rises to a depth less than B below the foundation level Equation 1.25 is applicable.
qnet CNc D(Nq1)subBN
1. 25
For cohesive soils the value of υ is small and the term ɣ _{s}_{u}_{b} BN _{ɣ} is of little account. Consequently the bearing capacity is not affected by the ground water variation below the foundation level. For sandy soils the term CNc is zero and the term 0.5γ _{s}_{u}_{b} BN _{γ} is about half 0.5γBN _{γ} . The effect of the groundwater is significant.
Water table above the foundation level For this case the net ultimate bearing capacity is given by Equation 1.26. It is seen both cohesive and cohesionless soils are affected by the water table rising above the foundation levels
qnet CNc p'o (Nq1)subBN
1. 26
Where p’ _{o} is the effective overburden above the foundation level.
1.2.4 Allowable bearing pressure
In design, the settlement due to the safe net bearing pressure is computed. If the resulting settlement is not acceptable then the pressure used in the determination of the settlement is reduced. At the point when the settlement is acceptable then the pressure obtained is the allowable bearing capacity of the soil. In design the ultimate loads are obtained from structural analysis. The ultimate load is converted into the service load. The gross load is the structural load above the ground floor plus the overburden. The net load at the foundation level is the load at the ground floor in addition to the weight of the foundation less any soil which has been replaced. For practical
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Shallow foundations
considerations it is therefore not necessary to consider the weight of the foundation below the ground level (Figure 1.9)
Gross load =P + overburden Pnet = P + foundation load – replaced
Figure 1. 9 Net load applied at the foundation level
1.2.5 Field methods for the determination of bearing capacity of soils
Plate bearing test The test is particularly suited for the design of foundations or footings where it is considered that the mass characteristics would differ from the laboratory tests and where the precise values of settlement are required. The plate load test covers the determination of vertical deformation and strength characteristics of soil insitu. From the data recorded the allowable bearing capacity of the soil is estimated. In the test an excavation is made to the expected foundation level. The plate usually 300 to 750 mm square should be rigid and flat. It is loaded by means of kentledge. The kentledge can be any form of dead load including water, concrete blocks etc or tension piles. The loading procedure can be either constant rate of loading or incremental loading procedure as described below:
Constant rate of penetration This test is best suited to undrained conditions. In the test the load is applied in a controlled manner to enable a continuous and uniform rate of penetration. The load is continued until a penetration of 15% of the plate width is achieved. The ultimate load is considered to be the load corresponding to the 15% of the plate width penetration.
Incremental load test This test is best suited to drained conditions. In the test the load an estimate of the maximum load is calculated. Five equally spaced increments are then selected. The load at each increment is recorded together with the corresponding settlement. A load is maintained until the penetration has ceased or when the primary consolidation is complete. The ultimate load is considered to be the load corresponding to the 15% of the plate width penetration as in the case of the constant rate of penetration test. Plate bearing capacity test results
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Shallow foundations
The plate bearing test results are best reported in graphical way as shown on Figure 1.10. The weak soft clays and loose sands will reach the ultimate bearing capacity in the region of 100200 kN/m2 while the stiffer clays and dense sands and gravels will continue increasing in the bearing pressure with increasing settlement.
Bearing Pressure (kN/m ^{2} )
Figure 1.10 Typical plate loading test results
Estimation of allowable bearing pressure from plate bearing test results The test is reliable only if the stratum being tested is reasonably uniform over the significant depth of the full scale foundation. A weak stratum below the significant depth of the plate but within significant depth of the foundation would have no influence over the plate test results but will have a significant effect over the performance of the foundation (Figure 1.11).
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Shallow foundations
B
Figure 1.11 Influence of weak stratum
Settlement of the stratum increases with increasing loaded area and the main problem is in the extrapolation of the test results to full scale scenario. Ideally the plate test should be carried out using plates of different sizes and at different depths. However, this is usually not economical. Notwithstanding this shortcomings the following procedure was been proposed by Terzaghi and Peck (1948) and can be used as a guide to use of plate bearing test results. The settlement of a square footing kept at a constant pressure increases as the footing size increases. The relationship is shown on Equation 1.27 relates the settlement of the test plate of 300 mm square and that of a square foundation of width B.
2
SS1 *(2B/(B0.3))
1. 27
Where S1 = settlement of the loaded area under a 305mm plate for a given pressure intensity p
S=
the settlement of a square foundation of width B in metres under pressure p
In order to use the plate bearing results the maximum allowable settlement is determined. A value of 25mm is generally accepted as an allowable settlement. S is then equated to 25 and a numerical value of B is inserted in the formula to enable the determination of the S _{1}_{.} From the relationship of p and s1 the value of p corresponding to the calculated value of S _{1} is the allowable bearing pressure subject to any adjustments certain to the ground water conditions.
Standard penetration test The test covers the determination of the resistance of soils particularly sand and loose to medium loose gravels at the base of a borehole to the penetration of a split barrel sampler when dynamically driven in a standard manner. In addition to the determination of resistance the split sampler is used to obtain disturbed samples for determination of remolded properties
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Shallow foundations
namely particle size analysis and Atterberg limits when the sample has some degree of plasticity. When used in gravels the sampler is replaced with a 60 ^{o} cone which does not sample the soil. Figure 1.12 shows the main features of standard penetration test equipment. The drive shoe and the sampler consist of 51 mm external diameter and 35 mm internal diameter. It is 450600 mm long. This is connected to a drive assembly at the bottom of the boring rods. A pick and release mechanism which ensures a free fall of a hammer weigh 65 kilograms through of 760 mm + or – 20 mm is used to drive the sampler or the cone in the case of the gravelly strata
Figure 1.12 Standard penetration equipment.
The procedure requires that the borehole is cleaned carefully to ensure that disturbed soil at the bottom of the borehole is removed. When boring below the ground water table it is prudent to maintain the water in the borehole at the same level or higher than the general ground water. A hydraulic balance is needed to avoid the risk of boiling of the strata at bottom occasioned by a high hydraulic gradient. The sampler and the hammer are lowered to the bottom of the borehole. If after touching the bottom the sampler penetration exceeds 450 mm on its own weight and that of the hammer, the SPT value also known as N value is recorded as zero. Otherwise after the initial penetration on own weight the test is driven in two stages known as seating drive and test drive The seating drive is the initial 150mm penetration or 25 blows whichever is reached first. The test drive is the further penetration of 300mm or 50 blows which ever is reached first. The number of blows for the 300 mm penetration is recorded as the SPT value ‘N’. If 300 mm penetration can not be reached in 50 blows the test drive is terminated. In this case a hard stratum has been encountered and further driving results in damage of the split sampler. It is usual to record the blows for every 75 mm penetration. If the test drive is terminated the penetration corresponding to 25 and 50 blows is recorded.
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Interpretation of Standard Penetration Test Results The pore water pressure generated by the hammer during testing affects the value of N. When the test is carried out below the water table in fine sand or fine silt the resistance increases as a result increased pore water pressure which does not dissipate immediately. If the measured N if greater than 15 a correction as shown on Equation 1.28 is performed.
TrueN151/2(N15)
1. 28
The relative density of a soil affects the N values. Terzaghi and Peck (1948) evolved a qualitative relationship between the relative density and the standard penetration N values. Gibbs and Hortz put values of relative density. Table 1.3 shows the two relationships
Table 1. 3 Relationship of N values and the relative density of sands
N value 
Terzaghi and Peck 
Gibbs and Hortz 
04 
Very loose 
015% 
410 
Loose 
1535% 
1030 
Medium 
3565% 
3050 
Dense 
6585% 
50+ 
Very Dense 
85100% 
The effective stress at the level of the test also affects the penetration of the SPT split barrel sampler. This effect can be related to the effective overburden at the level of the testing. Craig (1986) has summarized the correction of the overburden into Equation 1.29.
Where
N'CNN
1. 29
N’=the corrected value of SPT N=the measured value of the SPT or the true N in the case of the saturated loose sands and silts C _{N} =Overburden factor The relationship of C _{N} and effective overburden is shown on Figure 1.12
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Shallow foundations
Correction factor C _{N}
Figure 1.12 Estimation of N’ from measured values of N (Craig 1986)
Standard penetration resistance increases with increasing particle size, increasing over consolidation ratio and increasing angle of internal friction of the soil. A correlation between shear strength parameter and N, and effective overburden is shown on Figure 1. It provides rough estimate of value of and should not be used for very shallow foundations.
φ=25
φ=30
φ=35
φ=40
φ=45
φ=50
Effective overburden (kN/m ^{2} )
Figure 1.13 Correlation between shear strength parameter φ and N and effective overburden
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Shallow foundations
Estimation of allowable bearing pressure from standard penetration tests In 1948 Terzaghi and Peck presented a chart as shown on Figure 1.14 for the estimation of allowable bearing capacity while limiting the settlement to 25mm and differential settlement to 75% of the maximum settlement. The procedure involves determination of the average value of N’ from all the boreholes at the foundation level. The allowable bearing capacity for the widest foundation is determined and then applied to all the foundations. Terzaghi and Peck based his chart on foundations on unsaturated soils when the water table is at lower than 1.0B below the foundation. Thus when the water table is at 1.0B the reduction of the allowable bearing capacity is zero. The reduction increases linearly as the water rises. When the water table is at the ground level the reduction is 50%. Thus the provisional value of allowable bearing capacity obtained from Figure 1.14 should be reduced by the factor C _{w} shown on Equation 1.30
Where
Cw 0.50.5Dw /(DB)
1. 30
D _{w} = depth of the water table below the ground level and D D =the depth of the foundation B = the width of the foundation
Figure 1. 14 Relationship between N and allowable bearing pressure
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Static cone penetration test The test apparatus consists of a 60 ^{o} cone as shown on Figure 1. The cone is subjected to continuous penetration in the soil the rate of 1520 mm per second. The tip has electrical sensors for continuous recording of the resistance and penetration as shown on Figure 1. On the more sophisticated cones the friction along the cone can be measured. In addition the water pore pressure can also be measured. At every penetration the resistance is measured as load/cone area and is plotted against penetration
Figure 1.15 Static cone penetration apparatus
Resistance = load/end area = q _{c} (kN/m ^{2} )
Figure 1. 16 Static cone penetration test results
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Shallow foundations
From the data the value of Nγ used in Terzaghi Equation for the Ultimate Bearing Capacity can be estimated from Equation 1.31 the value of internal angle of friction can be obtained from Figure 1.5 which then enables the determination N _{q} and the ultimate bearing capacity. Other empirical values of q _{a} can be obtained from equations 1.32 through 1.33
qa N qc qc /50*((B0.3)/B) /80
qa
qc /30for _{B}_{<} _{1}_{.}_{2}_{m}
2
1. 31 

_{1}_{.} _{3}_{2} 

for B> 1.2m 
1. 33 
Allowable bearing capacity on rock stratum The bearing capacity of rock is the highest that an engineer can expect to get. In some cases the intact rock has unconfined compressive strength larger than the strength of the concrete which goes to the making of the foundation. In this case it is the structural design of the materials rather than the strength of the rock control the foundation design. For ordinary structures when site investigation is performed by boring, bedrock need be proved to a depth of three meters to discount the possibility of isolated boulders (Craig, 1987). When unweathered rock has been reached in foundation construction, the allowable bearing pressure is based on the inherent strength or the parent rock. The influence of joints, discontinuities and shear zones is to reduce the allowable bearing capacity. The rock quality designation (RQD) defined as the ratio of the total length of core of full diameter and length greater than 100mm or greater to the length of the core run measures the extent of defects and has been used in the determination of the allowable bearing pressure as shown on Table 1.
Table 1. Allowable bearing capacity RQD
RQD 
Allowable bearing capacity (kN/m ^{2} ) 
100 
29,300 
90 
19,500 
75 
11,700 
50 
6,800 
25 
2,900 
0 
1,000 
Source Peck et al, 1973
Bowles (1982) stated that the settlement is more often the concern than the bearing capacity. Consequently most effort should be taken in the determination of modulus E and Poisson’s ratio η so that an estimate of the settlement can be made. Alternatively he suggested that one should use a large factor of safety on the unconfined compression strength of the intact fragments obtained from the borings. The factor of safety should depend on the RQD and typically range between 6and 10.
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Tomlinson and Boorman (1986) reported the presumed bearing capacity must not exceed half of the unconfined compression strength of the intact rock fragments. Ibi (1986) reported presumed allowable bearing capacity values of various rocks varying from 12,500 kN/m ^{2} for igneous and limestone rocks to as low as 150 kN/m ^{2} for weak uncemented mudstones. Rock strength designations based on the unconfined compressive strengths have been suggested by BS 5930 (Ibi (1986) and the Canadian Geotechnical Society (Franklin and Dussealt, 1989) are shown on Tables 1.4 and 1.5 respectively.
Table 1. 4 Rock strength designation by BS 5930
Classification 
Very 
Weak 
Mod 
Mod 
Strong 
Very 
Extremely 

Weak 
Weak 
Strong 
strong 
strong 

UCS x10 ^{3} ) 
(kN/m ^{2} 
Under 2 
1.25 to 
5 to 
12.5 to 
50 to 
100 
to 
Over 200 

6 
20 
60 
200 
200 

Source – Tomlinson and Boorman (1986) 

Table 1. 5 Rock strength designation by Canadian Geotechnical Association 

Classification 
Extremely 
Very 
Weak 
Medium 
Very 
Extremely 

Weak 
Weak 
Strong 
strong 
strong 

UCS x10 ^{3} ) 
(kN/m ^{2} 
Under 
2 to 
6 to 
20 to 
100 to 
Over 200 

2 
6 
20 
60 
200 
Source: Franklin and Dussealt (1989)
1.2.6 Presumed bearing capacity of soils and rocks
It is common to use presumed bearing capacity of soils and rocks. The values used have been derived after many years of testing and performance monitoring of existing structures. These values are usually conservative do not consider the overburden above the foundation level. They can be used as preliminary values for the very large structures where an accurate bearing capacity at the foundation level is needed. In the case of smaller structures these valued can be considered as final. Table 1.6 shows the presumed bearing capacity of soils as suggested by BS8004 (1986), while Table 1.7 shows the presumed bearing capacity values used in Kenya. It is to be noted that difficult soils such as expansive soils, loose sands and silts and made up ground should be investigated all the time.
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Table 1. 6 Presumed allowable bearing vales (BS 8004: 1986)
Category 
Types of soils and rocks 
Value 
Remarks 

( kN/m2) 

Rocks 
Strong igneous and gneissic rocks in sound Strong limestone and strong sandstones Schists and slates Strong shales, mudstones and siltstones 
10000 
The foundations should be taken to 

4000 
unweathered rock 

3000 

Non 
Dense gravel, or dense sand and gravel Medium dense gravel or medium dense sand and gravel Loose gravel or loose sand and gravel Compact sand Medium dense sand Loose sand 
>600 
The 
foundation 

cohesive 
width 
to 
be 
not 

soils 
<200600 
less than 1m and 

<200 
water 
level 
not 

>300 
less 
than 
below 

100300 
the 
foundation 

<100 
level 

Cohesive 
Very stiff boulder clay and hard clays Stiff clays Firm clays Soft clays and silts 
300600 
Soils 
susceptible 

soils 
150300 
to 
longterm 

75150 
consolidation 
and 

<75 
settlement 

Very soft clays and expansive clays and silts 
Not applicable 

Peat, organic soils, made up ground and fill areas 
Not applicable 
Table 1. 7 Presumed allowable bearing values in Kenya
Soil and rock 
Value (kN/m ^{2} ) 
Red coffee soil (Red silty clay) 
80120 
Medium dense sand 
100300 
Loose gravel (Murram) 
100150 
Dense gravel 
200400 
Compact gravel and weathered rock 
350600 
Unweathered rock 
>600 
Expansive soils, loose sands and silts 
Not Applicable 
1.3 
Proportioning of shallow foundations 
1.3.1 
Contact pressure distribution 
This is the distribution of the pressure below the base of the foundation and the ground. The pattern of the distribution varies according to the stiffness of the foundation. The stiffness may be described as yielding (elastic), rigid or flexible
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Shallow foundations
Yielding foundation The stiffness of such foundation is zero. Here the contact pressure distribution has the same
variation as that of the load. Because of its zero stiffness there will be no moments induced
It has no practical
in the footing. significance.
Such a condition exists in fresh concrete before it sets.
Rigid foundations Contrary to the yielding foundation the rigid foundation has infinity rigidity. They are so rigid that they do not deflect. Most of the foundations considered in practice are rigid foundations. The analysis is simple and leads to economical design of the footings.
Flexible foundations The stiffness of such foundations lies between rigid and the yielding foundations. The foundations in this category deflect to a certain degree depending on the magnitude of their stiffness. The analysis of such foundations is complicated but leads to an economical design. However this is not usually done in practice and is not considered in these notes.
1.3.1 Proportioning the foundations
The proportioning of the foundations is usually the final step in the design of a structure. The type of foundation, sizes and the level of the foundation depend on the result of the site investigation. Usually partial factors would have been used in the design of the columns. However unfactored loads would be used in the proportioning of the foundations. The factored loads are however required in the determination of the foundation depths and design of the foundation in accordance with BS 8110 (1997). The general procedure for the design of the foundations follows the following steps
a) Evaluate the allowable bearing pressure in a site investigation exercise
b) Examine the existing and future levels around the structure and take into account the ground bearing strata and the ground water level to determine the final depth of the foundation
c) Calculate the loads and the moments if any on the individual footings with partial safety factors on the structural loads.
d) Recalculate the loads and the moments on the individual columns and the walls without partial factors of safety. In many cases it is sufficiently accurate to divide the factored loads and moments with 1.45.
e) Calculate the plan area of the foundation using unfactored loads
The plan area of the foundations is determined assuming that all the forces are transmitted to the soils without exceeding the allowable bearing pressure. The distribution of the pressure is assumed to be planar. In no case should the extreme pressure be less than zero. All parts of the foundation in contact with the soil should be included in the assessment of the contact pressure. Subsequently the designer carries out the structural design of the foundations. Typical foundations are now discussed
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Shallow foundations
Strip and rectangular footings
A 
strip footing is significantly greater in length than in width. This type of foundation is used 
to 
support walls and closely spaced columns. When and individual column is supported by a 
footing then this foundation is referred to as a pad footing. When two or more columns are
supported by one footing, this is referred to as a combined footing.
Axially loaded strip and rectangular foundations The contact pressure of these foundations is considered as uniform when loaded axially. The pressure under the foundations should not exceed the allowable bearing pressure of the supporting soil. Figure 1.17 shows the pressure distribution of such foundations.
a) Pad foundation
c) Combined foundation
Figure 1.17 Pressure distribution below individual and strip foundations under axial load
Eccentrically loaded rectangular foundations When foundations are subjected to axial and moments at their foundations the soil pressure resultant does not coincide with the centroid of the footing. The resulting pressure is a combination of the compression and the moment stresses. While the columns can in almost all cases resist the moments it is doubtful that the spread footing can sustain an applied column moment. The base usually will rotate and induce more moment at the far end of the column.
In conventional analysis the contact pressure distribution under eccentrically loaded rectangular foundations (Figure 1.) are derived from the common flexural formula. The general formula for the estimation of the pressure when there is eccentricity in the y and x axis is given in Equation 1.34.
(x,y) PAMy Iy *xMx Ix *y
1. 34
Where σ _{(}_{x}_{,}_{y}_{)} = contact pressure at any given point (x, y) P = the vertical load x,y = coordinate of the point at which the contact pressure is calculated My and Mx = the moment about y and x axis respectfully
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Shallow foundations
When Equation 1.34 results in negative values in some areas, this means that the foundation soil is taking tension. It is then necessary to change the dimensions to have only compression pressure at the base. This is difficult and requires trial and error approach for solution of maximum and minimum pressures. It is prudent to place the foundation such that that there is only eccentricity in one axis direction as explained below.
Eccentrically loaded rectangular foundations in one axis In design it is common to determine the magnitude of the contact pressure at the edges. Equation 1.34 reduces to equation 1.35 shown below and Figure 1.19 shows the pressure distribution.
Figure 1.19 Soil pressures below footing
^{c}^{)} ^{e}^{>}^{l}^{/}^{6}
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Shallow foundations
When the eccentricity inside midthird of the base (Figure 1.19a,e<l/6) the computed minimum pressure is positive soil pressure and the computed maximum pressure should not exceed the allowable bearing pressure. At e=l/6 Figure 1.19b the minimum soil pressure q=0 and the footing is fully effective in bearing. This limit of eccentricity means that as long as the eccentricity is less than l/6 also described as falling within the midthird of the foundation the entire footing is effective. When the eccentricity is large (Figure 1.19c) and e>l/6 the computed minimum pressure is negative soil pressure. This is an indication of a tensile stress between the soil and footing. This in not feasible and the soil pressure has to be evaluated neglecting any soil tension. The eccentricity is said to be outside midthird. For eccentricity outside middle third with respect one axis the maximum soil pressure redistributes itself since the base cannot take negative pressure. The distribution of pressure is triangular and is shown on Figure 1.20. The equations applicable in this case can be derived as follows:
Figure 1. 20 Eccentrically loaded rectangular out of middle third
'
L
3
L e
2
and
P
q
2
(
BL
')
Solving the two equations to obtain the maximum soil pressure q, Equation 1. is obtained
q
2* P
Bl
3 ( /2
)
e
1.36
Rectangular combined footings
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Shallow foundations
It may not be possible to place columns at the centre of spread footings if they are near the
property line, near mechanical equipment or irregularly spaced columns. Columns located off center will result in a non uniform soil pressure. In order to avoid the non uniform soil pressure, an alternative is to enlarge the footing and place one or more of the columns in the same footing to enable the center of gravity of the columns loads to coincide with the center
The assumption here is that the footing is rigid. The column loads
of the footing (Figure
are taken as point loads and distributed into the footing. The footings are statically determinate for any number of columns. The column loads are known and the resulting pressure is shown in equation 1.37
Figure 1. 21 Combined rectangular footing
Trapezoidal shaped footings
A 
trapezoidal shaped footing is required when a combined rectangular footing will not result 
in 
uniform pressure. This is usually so when the space between the combined footings is 
Figure 1. 22 Trapezoidal footing
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Shallow foundations
From Figure 1.22 the position of the centre of area of the footing is x’. The centre of the area
is to coincide with the center of gravity of the loads from the two or more columns being
supported by the trapezoidal footing. The position of the base cannot be extended beyond the length dimension L. L is therefore a known dimension. The value of the area of the foundation is obtained from the allowable bearing pressure and the total column loads (
The area of the base is shown in Equation 1.38 and the position of the centre
The solution to the two equations leads to unique
values of a and b representing the dimensions of the trapezoidal footing.
of the area is shown in Equation 1.39.
AP/qa
A
a
b
2
L
1
x
L
3
*
2
a
b
a
b
1.
1.
38
39
From Equation 1.39 and Figure 1.22 it can be seen that the solution for a=0 is a triangular footing and for a=b it is a rectangle. The solution for a trapezoid footing exists only for
L 3
1
x
L
2
Strap or cantilever footings
A 
strap footing is designed to connect an eccentrically loaded column to an interior column 
as 
shown on Figure 1.23. The strap is used to transmit the moment caused by eccentricity to 
the interior column footing so that a uniform soil pressure applied to both footings. The strap serves the same purpose as the interior portion of combined footing and is used in lieu of combined rectangular or trapezoidal footing. Equations 1.40 through 1.43 are used to proportion the footing dimensions. The value of eccentricity e is chosen arbitrary by the designer. Unique solution of the strap footing is not always possible
R 1*
1
S
P1S
R P
1
1
S
S
_{1}
L1 R2 /2ex P1 P2 R1
R1 B1 *L1 *qa
1. 40 

1. 41 

1. 42 

and 
R2 B2 *L2 *qa 
1. 43 
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Shallow foundations
Three basic considerations for strap footing design are:
a) The strap must be rigid (I _{s}_{t}_{r}_{a}_{p} /I _{f}_{o}_{o}_{t}_{i}_{n}_{g} >2. This rigidity is necessary to avoid rotation of the exterior footing.
b) The footing should be proportioned to approximately the same soil pressures and avoidance of large differential settlements
c) The strap should be out of contact with the soil so that there are no soil reactions and is weightless
A strap footing is to be considered only as a last option when other options would not work. The extra labor involved in the forming of the deep beam and accompanying costs make it only an attractive alternative when other options have been exhausted.
Raft foundations A raft foundation is a large concrete slab used as a foundation of a several columns in several lines. It may encompass the entire foundation area or only a portion. Raft foundations are generally used to support storage tanks, several pieces of industrial equipment or high rise buildings. Figure 1.24 shows some typical raft foundations A raft foundation is used where the supporting soil has a low bearing capacity. Traditionally the raft is adopted when pad and structural wall foundations cover over half the area enclosed by the columns and the structural walls. However this should be evaluated on a case by case basis since the raft foundations end up with negative moments and top and bottom reinforcement. This arrangement could end up being more expensive than closely spaced pads which require only bottom reinforcement.
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Shallow foundations
(a) Flat slab; (b) Thickened under columns or beam slab (c) Basement walls as part of the raft or cellular construction
Figure 1. 24 Common types of raft foundations
The advantages of the raft foundations over the other foundations include:
a) The effect of combining the column bases is increase in the bearing capacity of the foundation. This is because the bearing capacity increases with the breadth of the base.
b) The raft foundations bridge over the weak spots
c) They reduce settlement and are particularly suitable for structures sensitive to settlement.
Raft foundations are usually designed as infinitely rigid in comparison to the supporting soil. This assumption simplifies the pressure under the raft to a linearly distributed contact pressure. The centroid of the contact pressure coincides with the line of action of the resultant force of all the loads acting on the raft. Figure 1.25 shows the pressure distribution and the resultant of the vertical loads.
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Shallow foundations
Resultant of column and wall loads
σ min
σ max
Resultant of soil pressure
Figure 1. 25 Linear pressure distribution below a rigid raft
A raft foundation is considered as rigid if the column spacing is less than 1.75/λ. λ is given by Equation 1.44
Where
s
*
b
I
*
4* K
E
c
1/4
1. 44
Ks = coefficient of subgrade reaction B = width of strip of the raft between centers of adjacent bays Ec = modulus of elasticity of concrete I = the moment of inertia of the strip of concrete λ. = characteristic coefficient
Bowles (1982) suggests that the coefficient of subgrade reaction be estimated from Equation
1.45.
Ks 40*F*qa
_{1}_{.} _{4}_{5}
Where F = the factor of safety applied to the ultimate bearing capacity qa = the allowable bearing capacity Equation 1.44 is applicable when the column loads do not vary in magnitude by more than 20%. The column loads should also be uniformly spaced. The design of the raft follows the following basic steps
a) Compute the maximum column and wall loads
b) Determine the line of action of the resultant of all the loads
c) Determine the contact pressure distribution using Equation 1.46. Figure 1.26 shows the arrangement of the columns and the eccentricities with respect to x and y axis.
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Shallow foundations
Where
_{}
(
x y
,
)
_{}
P 
* P e 
y 
* 
y 
* P e x 
* 
x 

A 
I x 
I y 
∑P=total loads on the raft
1. 46
A 
= Total area of the raft 
x, 
y =Coordinates of any point on the x and y axis passing through the centroid of 
the raft I _{x} and I _{y} = moment of inertia of the area of the raft with respect to the x and y axis respectively e _{x} and e _{y} = the eccentricities of the resultant force in the x and y direction
It is conventional to obtain the pressures at the four corners and then interpolate in between to enable the determination of moments and shears for the structural design of the raft
Figure 1. 26 Raft foundation plan showing column loads
1.3.2 General consideration in the selection of the foundation depth
Once the geometry of the foundation of the foundation has been found, it is necessary to determine an appropriate depth of the foundation. The following are general considerations which the designers should take into consideration.
a) Usually the foundation should be placed below the depth with minimum moisture
This eliminates the shrinkage and collapse effects of the
variation over the years.
foundation soil. 
In this country a depth of between 1.0 and 1.5 metres is usually 
sufficient. 
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Shallow foundations
b) 
The foundation should be placed below top soil and below depths with roots of tress. The roots are potential water paths which weaken the foundations. 
c) 
The foundations should be sited with due consideration to existing nearby structures. The exaction of the foundation in the vicinity of the existing structures could lead to loss of lateral support of the neighboring structures. 
d) 
Special attention should be taken to foundations supported on expansive soils and those on loose sandy silts which are likely to be saturated during the lifetime of the structure. 
e) 
For water structures viz:  river bridges it is necessary to take extra care to ensure that scouring of the foundation vicinity does not impair the safety of the foundation. It is usual to use gabions in areas where scouring is likely to erode the foundations such as downstream of box culverts and around abutments and pier foundations 
f) 
It is preferable to place foundations at one level throughout. None the less if it is not practical to have the foundations at one level, the change of level should be at one plane. Sloping foundation levels should be completely avoided even if they are on rock. There is a risk of the foundation sliding. 
1.3.3 
Foundations for common buildings 
This section deals with foundations for ordinary common buildings. These are single and double storied buildings with structural walls as the main form of support. The spans should generally not be bigger than six metres. The buildings are generally on good bearing soils. The bearing soils include red coffee soils, gravelly soils and firm sandy, gravelly clays. The footing for these common buildings is shown on Figure 1.27. The 600 mm width is a practical width which allows masons to maneuver into the trench.
200150 mm thick masonry wall
100mm slab with BRC no 65 at the top
Damp proof membrane
150 mm minimum drop
100200 mm thick hardcore
A minimum of 1000 mm depth of foundations
600mm wide x 200mm deep mass concrete foundation
Figure 1. 27 Typical strip footing for an ordinary building
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Shallow foundations
The following are the general considerations in the usage of the standard footing.
a) 
No reinforcement is needed for strips where the load can be distributed through 45 ^{o} . 
b) 
The foundations should be excavated and the last 150mm excavation be finalized when the concreting can be done without further delay. This minimizes the softening of the foundation 
c) 
The mass concrete is in mass concrete usually by volume batching to achieve grade 15 concrete. A ratio of 1:3:6 for cement sand and ballast respectively is generally sufficient. 
d) 
Reinforced concrete foundations are done for areas with concentrated loads. These are usually column supports. Grade 25 concrete is the lowest class of concrete allowed in the new BS 8110, but grade 20 of concrete can be considered. 
1.4 
Foundations on difficult soils 
1.4.1 
Foundations on expansive clays 
Introduction The problems associated with expansive soils arise as a result of alternate heaving and
shrinkage of the clays. These soils are typically black or grey and are referred to as black cotton soils in this country. The cycle of expansion and shrinkage is a result of ability of the clays to take in water and retain it in its clay structure. The water absorption leads to expansion of the clay and causes strains in the foundation and the structures supported thereupon. The strains eventually cause the cracks to appear on the walls. The result is structural safety and aesthetics of the buildings are compromised The clay minerals include montmorillonite, illite and kaolinite as discussed in FCE
311. The montmorillonite clay mineral is particularly prone to heaving and shrinkage. Soil
having more than 20% of montmorillonite are particularly prone to swelling problems In addition to visual identification the expansive soils can be identified by assessing the swell potential of the soils. This is done by conducting an odometer test which measures the free swell and the swell pressure attained in an odometer when a sample held in an odometer ring is kept at the same volume as swelling is induced by allowing the sample to take in water. Some of the Nairobi black cotton soils have been found to have a swell pressure of up to 350 kN/m ^{2}^{.} Chen ( ) has related swell potential to plasticity index as shown on Table 1.8. The following methods can be applied to mitigate damage control
a) Moisture control
b) Soil stabilization
c) Structural measures
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Shallow foundations
Table 1.8 Relationship of swelling potential and plasticity
Swelling Potential 
Plasticity index (PI) 
Low 
015 
Medium 
1035 
High 
2055 
Very High 
Over 55 
Source (Chen, )
Moisture control The main course of heave and shrinkage is the fluctuations of moisture under and around the structures in question. Depending on the topographical, geological and weather conditions the natural ground water fluctuates during the year. This seasonal fluctuation decreases with depth. In some areas the depth to the fluation zone is as low as 1.5 meters. In other areas it will be deeper going down to over three meters. In addition to the ground water fluctuation the surface water from rains or bust pipes seeps into the foundations and course moisture migration. A satisfactory solution to the problem would to devise an economical way of stabilizing the soil moisture under and around the structure. It does not matter whether the moisture is maintained high or low in so far as it can be maintained throughout the year. An effective procedure of achieving this is to provide a water tight apron of approximately one metre round the building. A subsurface drain one metre round the building is provided with augur holes provided at every 2 meters. The holes are filled with sand and interconnected at the top. In effect the augur drain is and the impervious apron ensures that the moisture at the foundation area remains the same. Figure 1. 28 shows such an arrangement of the drains for ensures that the moisture content of the foundations remain the same The subsurface drain is used to intercept the gravity flow, or; perched water of free water to lower ground. It also arrests capillary moisture water movement. The subsurface drain should be lend to a positive outlet. In general the ground surface around the building should be graded so that surface water will flow away from the building foundations all h the time.
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Shallow foundations
a) Location of sand drain around a building
Original ground
level
Masonry
walling
2 meter wide water
tight apron
Coarse sand drains
at 2 metre intervals
b) Sand drain and apron detail
Figure 1. 28 Typical sand drain treatment of a building
Soil stabilization Soil stabilization consists of one of the following operations
(a) 
Prewetting or flooding the insitu soil to achieve swelling prior to construction. 
(b) 
Compaction control 
(c) 
Soil replacement 
(d) 
Chemical stabilization 
Prewetting or flooding the insitu soil to achieve swelling prior to construction involves the flooding of the site under consideration prior to construction. The soil would heave and the potential danger of cracking is eliminated. Prewetting has been used with success when the
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Shallow foundations
active zones are not large. It is very difficult to saturate high plasticity clays. There is danger that expansion of the clays could continue after the construction has taken place. This procedure should be considered for stabilizing pavement or canal linings. In only rare cases should the method be considered for use below ground floor slabs. Its application below building foundations is risky and questionable.
Compaction control has been used in pavement construction. Expansive clays expand very little when compacted at low densities and high moisture contents. But will expand considerably when compacted to high densities at low moisture contents. The approach is to compact swelling clays at moisture contents slightly above their natural moisture content for good result. In this method it is not necessary to introduce large amounts of water into the soil. Dry compaction of expansive soils was done along the LodwarKakuma road.
Soil replacement is the simplest an easiest solution for slabs and footings founded on expansive soils. The expansive foundation soils are replaced with nonheaving materials. The method requires the selection of the replacement material and the depth to replacement. In Nairobi the depth of the expansive black cotton soils is in the region of 1.0 to 1.5 metres. In this case it has been found desirable to remove the entire expansive soil below buildings and replace with suitable granular material. When the expansive soil is deeper building slabs can be constructed above the compacted soil covering the expansive soil but the foundation of main structure needs further consideration. This method is particularly useful for the construction of highway pavement in a site completely overlaid with expansive soils where the alternative to reroute the road is not viable. In this case it the lower expansive soils are overlaid with the compacted replaced material to a depth of 1.5 metres.
Chemical stabilization is the process of mixing additives like cement and lime to expansive soil to alter its chemical structure and in the process retard its potential expansiveness. Lime reduces the plasticity of the soil and hence its swelling potential. The amounts used range from two to eight percent by weight. Cement on the other hand reduces the liquid limit, plasticity and potential volume change. Stabilization has been used mainly in highway and airport construction.
Structural measures include several methods have been reported in literature such methods include
(a) 
Floating foundation 
(b) 
Reinforcement of brick walls 
(c) 
Foundation on piles 
Floating foundation concept is a providing a stiffened foundation.
on ground foundation with the main supporting beams resting on noncohesive non heaving material. The slabs are designed fixed on the beams that assuming a heave pressure of 20
This is essentially a slab
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Shallow foundations
kN/m ^{2} .
commonly found in Kenya has been estimated at between 300 and 500 kN/m ^{2} .
such an approach have been mixed where they have been tried. research.
This magnitude is small considering that the swell pressure of the expansive soils
Results of
This method needs further
Reinforcement of brick walls have been tried in South Africa. In this method reinforcement is placed in brick walls. The reinforcement is placed where cracking usually takes place. This is typically above and below openings. The structure is made also semi flexible by providing joints in the brickwork so that when heave takes place the building will conform to the new ground shape and consequently reduce the bending moment induced in the walls. The joints are typically 1.5cm.
Foundation on piles is a very successful procedure which ignores the heave by placing the footing to a sufficient depth (Figure ). The depth of the pile should leave an expansion zone between the ground and the building to allow the soil to swell without causing detrimental effect to the building. One way of installing the piles is to provide a pile with bell at the bottom. The bell or under reamed section should be well below the active zone. The bell is installed with special equipment and anchors the pile into the ground. The pile can be installed in an oversize shaft which is subsequently filled with straw saw dust as filler to eliminate uplifting of the pile by heaving soil. Alternatively the pile could be a straight and the effect of the uplift calculated using Equation 1.47 The friction below the active zone is utilized in the calculation of the bearing capacity of the pile.
Where
1. 47
= the total uplift D = the diameter of the pile
h 
= the depth of the pile in the active zone 
u 
= the swelling pressure 
f = the coefficient of friction between the pile and the soil f may be taken as 0.15 while the swelling ;pressure varies between 250 and 500 kN/m ^{2}
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Shallow foundations
Figure 1. 29 Pile systems for expansive soils
1.4.2 Foundations on loose sands
Foundations on loose sands are particularly difficult due to the likelihood of collapse in the event of large storms. The storms result in the realignment of the sand particles and consequent settlement due to repacking of the sand support. This has resulted in large cracks in buildings which have been placed on this type of foundation soils. The foundation soils subsequently loose there bearing capacity and the result is settlement of the foundations. The superstructure has to absorb the settlement usually with resultant cracks of walls and structural elements. A real case story is one of the Garissa teachers college whose buildings were placed on sand strata. The area is generally dry but when the rain comes, it usually very heavy and comes in large storms. The performance of the three building types of structures adopted at Garissa teachers college forms a case study whose findings are used to suggest a construction procedure for foundations and masonry superstructures on loose sands. The main teaching bungalow consisted of buildings constructed with a ground beam which was framed with columns and a concrete roof slab. The masonry was thus reinforced at the corners with columns and subsequently bound at he top by a ring beam and at the bottom with a ground beam. These types of buildings were found to have performed well several years after construction. This type of construction produced a satisfactory type of constructed and when the buildings were inspected ten years after construction the structural frames and the infill masonry walls were performing well. The second type of buildings consisted of three and four and three storied flats. As in the case of the previous buildings these types of buildings were found to have performed well ten years after construction
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Shallow foundations
The third type of the buildings was the staff residential bungalows. These were constructed with a ground beam and masonry walls. The roof of the buildings was a concrete slab. However as the rains came and went in there stormy characteristics the residential houses developed cracks in the walls. The cracks were particularly severe in the external walls and after about 10 years of service and needed attention (Plate 1.1 Based on the satisfactory behavior of the framed structures it was found prudent to introduce columns at the masonry wall corners in a repair scheme. Plate … It is therefore recommended for foundations on loose sands the masonry should be reinforced with columns at the corners. In addition the foundations should be kept as far as is possible free from percolating water. In this way the in the event of settlement the frame will be able to absolve the stressed attributable to additional settlement and reduce the severity of the cracks.
Plate 1.1 Cracks in the walls occasioned by settlement of the foundation
Plate 1.2 Introduction of columns to stiffen the walls
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Shallow foundations
1.5 Tutorial examples on chapter one
1)
A footing 2.25 m square is located at a depth of 1.5m. The strength parameters are c’= 0 and υ’ = 38 ^{o}^{.} Determine the ultimate bearing capacity
a) If the water is is well below the foundation level.
b) If the water table is at the surface.
Given that the unit weight of sand above the water is 18 kN/m ^{3} . The saturated
unit weight of soil is 20kN/m ^{3} .
Ans – A 2,408kN/m ^{3} B, 1,365 kN/m ^{3}
2) 
A strip footing is to be designed to carry a load of 800kN/m rum at a depth of 0.7m in gravelly sand. The appropriate shear strength parameters are c’= 0 and υ’ 

40 ^{o} . determine the width of a footing if the a factor of safety of 3 is specified assuming that the water level may rise to the foundation level Above the water table the weight of the gravelly sand is 17 kN/m ^{3} . The saturated unit weight of strata is 20kN/m ^{3} . = 

Ans – 1.55m 

3) 
A footing 2m square is located at a depth of 4 m in stiff clay of saturated unit weight 21kN/m ^{3} . The undrained strength of the clay at a depth of 4m is cu= 120kN/m ^{3} and υ’ = 0. For a factor of safety of 3 with respect to shear failure, what load can be carried by the footing 

Ans – 1680kN 

4) 
You are responsible for the design of a combined footing to support two columns 

as 
shown in the figure below. The vertical dead loads on column A and B are 500 
and 1400KN respectively. The design requires that the resultant of the column
loads acts through the centroid of the footing. In addition the dead loads, columns
A and B also can carry vertical live loads of up to 800 and 1200 KN respectively.
The live loads vary with time, and thus may be present some days and absent other days. In addition the live load on each column is independent of that on the other column. Check that the design meets all eccentricity requirements if the worst possible combination of live loads is imposed
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Shallow foundations
5) A column is carrying a load of 1200kN. The column is located 300mm form the boundary of wall. Calculate the pressure distribution if the column is founded on a square base of 1500mm x1500mm. is the foundation safe if the allowable bearing pressure is estimated at 300kN/m ^{2}
6)
An internal column is carrying a load of 2400kN. column described in Question 1 Design:
It is located 3000mm
from the
a. a suitable combined base for the two columns
b. A suitable strap footing for the two columns
7) Your client acquires the next plot and you are not limited by the boundary wall. Calculate the safe bearing pressure below the columns described in questions 1 and 2. Assume a detailed site investigation has established the following strength parameters.
C’ = 10kN/m ^{2} , υ’ =20 ^{o} , γ _{s}_{a}_{t} = 18 kN/m ^{2} , γ _{b} = 16 kN/m ^{2} ,
4 Four columns are carrying a tower. If the columns are on a square grid of 2.5mssquare, calculate the pressure at each of the four column positions if a raft foundation of 3 mmx3m is designed to carry the foundation loads estimated at 4000kN, 5000kN, 6000kN and 7000kN
University of Nairobi –FCE 511 Geotechnical Engineering IV
Chapter two: Deep Foundations
Deep foundation can be categorized into three major types. These include
i. Pile foundations
ii. Drilled piers
iii. Caisson foundations.
The ground and structural conditions which require the use of the two types are discussed under each of the sections dealing with the two types of the foundations.
2.1 
Pile foundations 
2.1.1 
Introduction 
Pile foundations are structural members used to transmit surface loads to lower levels in the soil mass. They are used when soil beneath the level at an appropriate raft or conventional footing is too weak or too compressible to provide adequate support to the structure load. The piles have small crosssection area compared to their lengths. The pile materials generally include timber, steel or concrete. The transfer is by vertical distribution of load along the pile surface and at the pile end point.
Piles may be used in the following circumstances
a) To transfer loads to a suitable bearing layer when weak strata is ignored and the load is transferred to an overlying strong bedrock or compact layer.
b) To transfer load through the shaft friction when compact layer is very deep and would be impractical to reach it
c) To support structures over water where conventional exaction and construction of the foundation is not possible or very expensive to achieve.
d) To reduce settlement and in particular differential settlement
e) Based on cost. It might prove economical to drive piles down the strata and then build on top of the piles instead of having to excavate deep layers and then construct ordinary foundations
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Deep Foundations
f) In structures which have considerable uplift, horizontal and/or inclined forces. This is especially true for marine and harbor works.
g) To increase the bearing capacity by vibration and compaction of granular layers of soil.
h) In soils where deep excavations would result in damage of existing buildings.
Piles can be distinguished by the function they are intended to perform or by the material and construction procedures used in their construction. The various types of piles by function are shown on Figure 2.1. The main function of the piles is to take the loads by end bearing or by friction or by combination of the two. Other functions exist and two which can be sited here include tension piles and fender piles. The tension piles take lateral forces in place of traditional retaining walls while fender piles also referred to as dolphin piles are marine structures principally for taking horizontal loads from vessels in the docking areas. Section 2.2 is presentation of piles by their material and construction procedures.
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