Important factors in foundation design

It is not possible to describe or even summarize foundation design principles in a single post. So first of all, we refer the readers to other posts we made in Geotechnical engineering and foundations. Below we did not distinguish shallow or deep foundations.

We will only list some major points to consider below:

Bearing capacity

Settlement, such as elastic settlement for all soils and primary and secondary consolidation settlement for clays

Potential for deep seated failure, when a weak layer can be present beneath a stronger layer

Frost heave cycle

The soil parameters are reliable to the degree of the reliability of tests to determine them. The engineer must use his or her judgment heavily when choosing parameters such as angle of internal friction or the K value for lateral earth pressure

Interpretation of subsurface data such as boring logs

The effectiveness of compaction and ground improvement methods (as well as choosing the proper ground improvement method in the first place)

Consideration of water table and seepage effects

Flexible vs. Rigid footing design for shallow foundations or mats

Effect of any eccentric loading / moment from the column / pile cap above. Same for lateral loading. Loads as a result of seismic events.

Consideration of uplift in certain situations that are prone to overturning or subject to uplift force of water

Liquefaction potential

Effect of soil-structure interaction

Differential settlement

Expansion potential for clay soils

Note: This article may not be copied without written permission from

You must be logged in to post a comment Login