A Cost-effective Shallow Foundation Accommodates Three Feet of Settlement

by Arthur H. Wu, (M.ASCE), Specialist, Geotechnical Engrg.; Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Headquarters, Alexandria, Va.,
Dennis J. Scheessele, (M.ASCE), Supervisory Engr.; Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Chesapeake Div., Wash., D.C.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1982, Vol. 52, Issue 3, Pg. 65-67

Document Type: Feature article


An automotive maintenance facility to be built at the Anacostia Naval Station in Washington, D.C. had two major foundation problems: the probability of large settlement and the possibility of excessive foundation cost. In the past, pile foundations had been used to build in the base's filled land. After a subsoil investigation and foundation engineering analysis, Navy engineers designed a shallow foundation system to support the facility while allowing for settlements of 3 ft (0.9 m). The system consists of an engineered fill placed on a firm stone base to support spread footings designed as inverted T-shaped grade beams with enough rigidity to resist footing deflections. The superstructure was also reinforced and provided with control joints to accommodate the settlement better. Using this design, the risk of foundation failure has been minimized, and the foundation cost saving was about $335,000.

Subject Headings: Foundation design | Pile foundations | Shallow foundations | Foundation settlement | Financial management | Footings | Building design | Maintenance | Washington | United States

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