Damage Evaluation of Building on Piers in Expansive Clay

by Richard J. Finno, (M.ASCE), Northwestern Univ, Evanston, United States,
Gary J. Klein, (M.ASCE), Northwestern Univ, Evanston, United States,
Paul J. Sabatini, (S.M.ASCE), Northwestern Univ, Evanston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Vertical and Horizontal Deformations of Foundations and Embankments


A number of columns in the crawl space of a pier-supported structure founded in expansive clays were damaged as a result of ground movements since the building was constructed in 1975. Results of investigations indicate that water contents within the swelling clay have not changed significantly in 17 years, implying that swelling had not caused the movements. The observed pattern of ground movements and damage are shown to be consistent with the movements expected from stress relief due to excavation of as much as 8.2 m of soil. Flexibility of the columns between the floor slab and excavated grade also influenced the observed patterns of damage.

Subject Headings: Expansive soils | Clays | Soil analysis | Soil stress | Piers | Soil-structure interaction | Buildings | Ground motion

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