Expansive Soils—Geotechnical Problems Are in Hand; Now Need to Familiarize Nonengineers

by Kneeland A. Godfrey, Jr., (M.ASCE), Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 10, Pg. 87-91

Document Type: Feature article


Expansive soils damage thousands of buildings, many miles of highway each year. How and why these types of clays expand is explained. How geotechnical engineers in Colorado, Texas and Mississippi are preventing or curing the problems is explained, in case histories and in general guidelines. The technical problems—how to prevent the expansion, or prevent it from causing major damage—is by now well understood by engineers. Today the greater problem is making sure that building officials and developers are familiar with the problem, and act on that knowledge. Sometimes ignorance, or need to compete with other homebuilders whose developments are not on expansive soils, leads homebuilders to avoid spending the money necessary. The result is that the homeowner pays for it, in future years, in the form of a cracked house. For this reason last April ASCE ran a conference—designed for the nonengineer public including building officials and developers—in Denver. Nearly 400 attended.

Subject Headings: Expansive soils | Case studies | Damage (structural) | Highways and roads | Soil classification | Clays | Curing | Lead (chemical) | United States | Colorado | Texas | Mississippi

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