Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Semi-empirical foundation design procedures

The project has led to proposed direct design procedures for piles and shallow foundations from the results of the three recently developed in situ testing devices, the cone pressuremeter (CPM), the dilatometer (DMT) and the triple element piezocone (CPTU3), and has examined the existing French rules developed for the Menard Pressuremeter (MPM). The concept of foundation design procedures, such as those developed in the project, is that they use directly the measurements of in situ tests, instead of conventional soil properties. The resulting design and construction process is more efficient both in time and cost. In addition, the availability of sound economic procedures should discourage the current tendency to cut corners in foundation design and hence lead to better quality foundations. Some design is already carried out using foundation design procedures developed along these lines. However, much of the construction industry is either uninformed or wary of the innovative concept. The work of the project has demonstrated the validity of the concept and its potential.

Conclusions have been drawn and recommendations made on the proposed individual design methods resulting from the work of the project. The relative performance of the different methods for each of the different foundation types has also been investigated and discussed. For the design methods proposed, the development has been taken as far as possible based on the foundation performance database available to the project. Recommendations have been made concerning the areas in which further investigation is required to verify the methods and any suggested improvements across a range of soil types. The project has also led to the compilation of a large multi-national database of foundation performance and site characterization data which can be used as the basis for a growing database with which to validate the project design methods and others. The project has also vastly increased the experience worldwide of the operation of the new devices and the interpretation of their results in different soil types. Important considerations concerning the use of the equipment and the interpretation of the results have been highlighted.

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John POWELL
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