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Civil Engineering and Environmental


303421: Foundation Engineering

Introduction & Types of Foundation

Dr. Abdulmannan Orabi

ACI 318M-14 Building Code Requirements for Structural
Concrete ( ACI 318M -14) and Commentary, American
Concrete Institute, ISBN 978-0-87031-283-0.
Bowles , J.,E.,(1996) “Foundation Analysis and Design” -5th
ed. McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-912247-7.
Das, B., M. (2012), “ Principles of Foundation Engineering ”
Eighth Edition, CENGAGE Learning,
ISBN-13: 978-1-305-08155-0.
Syrian Arab Code for Construction 2012

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Definition of Foundations

A structure essentially consists of two

parts, namely the super structure which is
above the plinth level and the substructure
which is below the plinth level.

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Definition of Foundations

The substructure or foundation

is the part of a structures that is usually placed
below the surface of the ground to transmit the
load from the superstructure to the underlying
soil or rock.
Generally about 30% of the total construction
cost is spent on the foundation.

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Definition of Foundations

Footings are those parts of the foundation which

resting directly on the soil, support specific
portion of building and distributed building
loads directly to the soil.
The most efficient footing and foundation system is
that transmit building loads mostly to the soil
without exceeding the bearing capacity of the

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Definition of Foundations

All soil compress noticeably when loaded and

cause the supported structure to settle.
If soil of sufficient bearing capacity lies
immediately below the structure then the load
can be spread by footings as shown below.

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Requirements for Foundations

Loads must be carried by a foundation system

would include the dead load of the building
and live loads of it occupants and contents.
Foundation system must resist lateral loads
from both ground pressure and wind, and
provide anchorage for the building
superstructure against uplift and racking force.

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Requirements for Foundations

The most critical factor in determine the foundation

system of building is the type and bearing capacity
of the soil to which the building loads are
distributed. ( Adequate safety)
Small settlements ( Total and differential settlement)
Construction problems ( stability of excavation
bottom heave ground water problems)
Economical requirement

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Footing depth and spacing

Footings should be carried below:

1. The forts line
2. Zones of high volume change due to moisture
3. Top soil or organic material
4. Peat and muck
5. Unconsolidated material such as abandoned
garbage dumps and similar filled in areas.
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Footing depth and spacing

Foundations should be placed at an

acceptable level with respect to adjacent
Foundations should be placed sufficiently
away from the edge of a sloping ground

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Footing depth and spacing
Recommendations for footing adjacent to existing structures
When footings are to be placed adjacent to an existing
structure, as indicated in figure (1) the line from the
base of the new footing to the bottom edge of the
existing footing should be 45 or less with the
horizontal plane.
From this requirement it follows that the distance m
of figure (1) should be greater than the difference in
elevation of the two footings, Z.

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Footing depth and spacing
The difference in levels between adjacent
foundations should not cause undesirable
overlapping between stresses.
New footing

Existing footing

Figure (1)
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Footing depth and spacing
Recommendations for footing adjacent to existing structures

Excavation may cause settlement to old

foundation due to lateral bulging in the
excavation and/or shear failure due to
reduction in overburden stress in the
surrounding of old foundation

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Footing depth and spacing
Recommendations for footing adjacent to existing structures
Ground surface

Excavation line
Existing footing

Soil bulges from loss

of lateral support New footing

Figure (2)
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Footing depth and spacing

Figure (2) indicates that if the new footing is

lower than the existing footing there is a
possibility that the soil may flow laterally from
beneath the existing footing.
This may increase the amount of excavation.
Somewhat but, more importantly may result in
settlement cracks in the existing building.

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Types of Foundations

The two main types of foundation are :

Shallow foundation (spread, combined,
and mat foundations) and
Deep foundation: Pile foundation
Pier foundation

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Sallow Foundation

Shallow foundation

Foundation soil

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Shallow Foundations

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Types of Footing
Strip footing / or
Combined Footing Isolated footing continuous

Strap footing or Combined

cantilever Footing

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Isolated Footing


Rectangular or Square footing with constant

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Isolated Footing

B or L

6 8 1. 2

1 2 2 9. 9

1 78 0. 2

2 5 .9 07

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Strip Footing

q (kN/m)

Bearing Wall

56 .1 4

2 5 9. 80

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Combined Footing


3 28 .9 1

2 4 2. 6

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Combined Footing

Property line

Rectangular NA < NB

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Combined Footing



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Raft ( Mat ) Foundation
Strip footing in both direction may be sufficient to
spread the load and reduce soil pressure to acceptable
levels. If not a raft foundation may be give suitable
bearing pressure.

Raft foundation Strip footing in both directions

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Deep Foundations
Pile Foundations
If a soil pressure has insufficient
bearing capacity then it is necessary
to use deep foundation, such as pile,
to transmit the load to deeper, firmer

weak soil

bed rock
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Deep Foundations

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Deep Foundations

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Retaining Walls



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Sheet Piles

Sheet piles



sheet pile

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Sheet Piles

Sheet piles

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Bearing Pressure Under Footings

Actual pressure is not uniform due to:

1) Footing flexibility
2) Depth of footing below ground surface
3) Type of soil

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Soil Pressure Distribution

For a concentrically loaded pad footing the

bearing pressure distribution for a cohesive soil
is the pressure are higher near the edge because
the load produces a shear resistance a round the
perimeter which adds to the upward pressure.

Soil pressure Footing

distribution in
cohesive soil.
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Soil Pressure Distribution

For cohesionless soil the pressure are higher at

the center because the individual grains of soil
at the perimeter can shift very slightly outwards
to where the soil stresses are less. N

Soil pressure distribution

in cohesionless soil.

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Soil Pressure Distribution

For design purpose, provided the load is

symmetrical with respect to the bearing area, it is
usual to disregard these variations and assume an
uniform bearing pressure.

q, bearing pressure

Axially Loaded Footings: Assume uniform pressure

Foundation and retaining walls must be designed
to resist both overturning and sliding.
Overturning : To prevent overturning the
restoring moment due to the vertical load must be
greater than the overturning moment, thus
× >M

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Sliding : To prevent the footing from sliding the
resisting of the footing on the soil must exceed
the applied horizontal load, thus
+ − >

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+ − >
is the friction resistance under the base
= +
is the friction angle between concrete and soil
is the passive resistance due to horizontal movement
is the active resistance due to horizontal movement

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Bearing capacity of soil

Bearing capacity of soil :

It is defined as the maximum load per unit
area which the soil will resist safely without
The bearing capacity of the soil can be found
by loading the soil, noting the settlement and
by dividing the maximum load by the area on
which the load is applied.

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Bearing capacity of soil

Main components of a structure including soil

Foundation soil is that
portion of ground
which is subjected to Ground Level
Super Structure

additional stresses when Foundation

foundation and
Foundation Soil
superstructure are
constructed on the ground.

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Ultimate Bearing capacity of soil

The maximum load is obtained from the

graph between the settlement and load.
Ultimate Bearing Capacity ( ) it is the
maximum pressure that a foundation soil can
withstand without undergoing shear failure

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Ultimate Bearing capacity of soil

Allowable Bearing Pressure ( ) :

It is the maximum pressure the
foundation soil is subjected to considering
both shear failure and settlement.

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Ultimate & Allowable Bearing capacity

Bearing capacity, kPa

Allowable Bearing Capacity

Safe Bearing
Settlement, mm


Ultimate Bearing

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Artificial methods to improve bearing
capacity of soil
By increasing the depth of foundation.
By draining the sub-soil water.
By compacting the soil.
By confining the soil mass.
By cement grouting.
By injecting chemicals like silicates etc.

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Bearing Capacity

Failure of medium dense sand ( After photo Dr. Abdulmannan Orabi , 1990)

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Modes of shear failure

Depending on the stiffness of foundation

soil and depth of foundation, the
following are the modes of shear failure
experienced by the foundation soil.
1. General shear failure
2. Local shear failure
3. Punching shear failure

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General Shear Failure
This type of failure is seen in dense
and stiff soil

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Local Shear Failure

This type of failure is seen in relatively

loose and soft soil.

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Punching Shear Failure

This type of failure is seen in loose and soft soil

and at deeper elevations. The failure surface in
soil will not extend to the ground surface.

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Terzaghi’s Bearing Capacity

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General Equation

Hansen’s equation
V +β


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