Floating Foundations for Control of Settlement

by David J. D'Appolonia, (A.M.ASCE), Principal; Lambe Associate Inc., Concord, MA,
T. William Lambe, (F.ASCE), Edmund K. Turner Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; MIT, Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 6, Pg. 899-915

Document Type: Journal Paper


Floating foundations are an effective means for reducing the settlement caused by placing heavy foundation loads on deep deposits of soft clay. This paper first examines some fundamental design considerations concerning heave and settlement of floating foundations and then evaluates the performance of five floating foundations on the MIT campus. Investigation of the consolidation history of the clay deposit and consideration of foundation stability during excavation are crucial to the proper performance of floating foundations. Floating foundations for five MIT buildings have performed well. Maximum settlements vary from 0.05 to 0.15 ft and differential settlements are very small.

Subject Headings: Foundation settlement | Soil settlement | Foundation design | Differential settlement | Clays | Consolidated soils | Deep foundations | Load factors

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