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Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Vol. 41, No.

2, 2004


A. B. Fadeev, V. K. Inozemtsev, and V. A. Lukin

Saint Petersburg Architectural and Civil Engineering University; and, OOO Podzemstroirekonstruktsiya, Saint Petersburg.

UDC 624.153.524

It is indicated in an example of two buildings installed on slab foundations that the allowable [1] average settlement does not guarantee an absence of dangerous tilts as a result of nonuniformity of settlement of different parts of the building. It is proposed to account for the limiting average settlement with allowance for possible tilt.

At the present time, tower buildings of 8-20 stories represent a rather widespread type of residential building currently under construction. Pile and slab versions are called for in selecting the foundation. The installation of a foundation slab makes it possible to make most efficient use of the basement-socle story of the building; this is an argument weighted toward the advantage of this alternate version. The design settlement of such a building with a slab foundation is 15-30 cm in the weak saturated clayey soils of Saint Petersburg and other cities of northwestern Russia with a compression modulus of the order of 10 MPa. A similar settlement for a rigid building remote from adjoining tenements is of no risk; it is sufficient merely to consider it in assigning the grades of waste-water disposal systems, and grading elevations. As allowable settlements for rigid buildings, regulatory documents [1, 2] recommend rather high values, which do not restrict use of slab foundations even in weak soils. It is known in foundation engineering, however, that high nonuniformity of settlement is also associated with large settlements. The causes of this are diverse: unexposed occurrence of soils, which have gone unnoticed during surveys, freezing of the base of the slab, poorly defined load eccentricity, etc. Even scatter of the compressibility index of the soil within the bounds of a single geologic-engineering element may be the cause of nonuniform settlements. In evaluating the compressibility modulus from results of six experimental determinations with a coefficient of variation of 0.2 on the boundaries of an interval with a two-sided 95% confidence level, the value of the modulus will be 0.81 and 1.3 of the average (normalized) value, i.e., will differ by a factor of 1.6 [3]. According to our rough estimate, the probability of settlement nonuniformity s, which makes up 50% of the average settlement s (s = s/2), exceeds 5%. Following the proposed estimate, there is, for an average computed settlement of 20 cm for a foundation slab, a 5% probability that the settlement will be 15 cm at one of its boundaries, and 25 cm at the other. Accordingly, the developing tilt of the slab will be i = s/B = s/(2B) where B is the minimal planform dimension of the slab (width) in m.
Translated from Osnovaniya, Fundamenty i Mekhanika Gruntov, No. 2, pp. 14-16, March-April, 2004.



2004 Plenum Publishing Corporation

i = 0.016

10 m

Fig. 1. Plan view of foundation slab of 17-story tenement building in Kupchino.

Soil Clayey loam Clayey loam with gravel Clayey loam with gravel Clayey loam with gravel Clayey loam with gravel Layer thickness, m
4 9 1,5 0,8 9

Density, tons/m 3
1.94 2.03 2.07 1.95 2.07

Flow index Il
0.29 0.52 0.18 0.88 0.18

Compression modulus, MPa

11 9 13 7 13

When B = 20 m, the tilt will be i = 20/(2 2000) = 0.005, which is impossible to acknowledge as acceptable: at the edges of a six-meter apartment, the level of the floor will differ by 3 cm, while the elevator shafts in a 16-story building 50 m high will deviate from the vertical by 25 cm, where the allowable value is 15 cm [2]. Let us discuss two examples. Example 1. A 17-story building in the Kupchino District (Saint Petersburg) has a slab foundation with planform dimensions of 18.5 50 m, where the lower surface resides at a depth of 2.85 m (Fig. 1). Characteristics of the bed soils are presented in Table 1. The computed settlement of the building for these conditions is 18 cm; this exceeds somewhat the 15-cm value permitted by the Construction Rules and Regulations [1] as the limiting value for similar buildings, which is much smaller, however, than the limiting value of 30 cm allowed by the Territorial Construction Rules for Saint Petersburg [2]. No nonuniformity of soils in plan had been noted during surveys; manifestation of tilt was therefore unexpected. Nevertheless, tilt appeared even during construction, and continued to increase through its completion. Deviation of the top of the tenement building from the vertical reached 0.8 m; this corresponds to a tilt i = 0.016, and exceeds the limiting tilt values recommended by documents [1] and [2] by a factor of more than three. Example 2. Eight-story administration building in the center of Vologde. The foundation is built in the form of a monolithic reinforced concrete slab with planform dimensions of 18 30 m, where the lower surface resides at a depth of 2.85 m (Fig. 2). The average load across the lower surface of the slab is 253 kN/m2. The bed soils are comprised of a 10-12-meter layer of highly plastic clayey loams and sandy loams with a compression modulus of 8-10 MPa, which is underlain by a dense moraine. The design settlement of the building was 16.4 cm, and no manifestation of tilt was expected. During and after completion of construction, the foundation slab of the building had sustained a tilt of the order of 0.005 with a difference in settlements of 13.7 cm at the edges. Here, the average slab settlement was of the order of 15 cm. The examples cited suggest that the large average settlement, which is dangerous by itself, may, with a high probability, be accompanied by manifestation of critical tilts.

i = 0.016

10 m

Fig. 2. Plan view of foundation slab of administration building in Vologda.

Implementation of recommendations in documents [1, 2] with respect to allowable average settlement of shallow slab foundations of tower-type buildings does not guarantee an acceptable level of tilts. Since nonuniformity of settlement and tilts is determined as a correlation function of average settlement, recommendations regarding its permissible value should be more delicate, and be linked with the probability that tilt will develop. This is especially important for areas with weak highly compressible soils, where, as Sakharov notes [4], local foundation engineers are "acclimated"' to large settlements, and establish permissible values on the high side in construction rules [2]. For buildings of the type in question, we suggest the following: 1) the minimum of two values be adopted as the limiting tilt iu: iu = 0.003; and, iu = 0.15/H (0.15 is the limiting deviation of an elevator shaft from the vertical in m, and H is the height of the elevator shaft in m); and, 2) the limiting average settlement su be determined from formula (1), linking it with the limiting tilt and the planform dimensions of the slab su = 2Biu. (2)

The proposed parameters can be confirmed in the examples under consideration. 1. 17-story tenement building in Kupchino. H = 51 m, B = 18.5 m. Average design settlement of 18 cm. Recommended limiting tilt: iu = 0.003; and, iu = 0.15/H = 0.15/51 = 0.0029. iu = 0.0029 is adopted. The recommended limiting average settlement su = 2Biu = 2 18.5 0.0029 = 0.107 m. The expected computed settlement exceeds the recommended limiting value. It is expedient to use the alternate pile version of foundation. 2. Administration building in Vologda. H = 24 m, and B = 18.0 m. The computed average settlement is 16 cm. Recommended limiting tilt: iu = 0.003; and, iu = 0.15/H = 0.15/24 = 0.0063. iu = 0.003 is adopted. The recommended limiting average settlement su = 2Biu = 2 18.0 0.003 = 0.108 m. The expected computed settlement exceeds the allowable limiting value. In this case, it is expedient to use the alternate pile version of foundation.
REFERENCES 1. 2. 3. 4. Construction Rule and Regulation 2.02.01-83, Beds of Buildings And Structures [in Russian]. Territorial Construction Rule 15-302-96, Saint Petersburg [in Russian], Saint Petersburg (1997). GOST 20522-96, Soils. Methods of Statistical Processing of Test Results [in Russian]. I. I. Sakharov, Causes of individual failures during reconstruction in Saint Petersburg and means of their prevention. Reconstruction of historic cities and geotechnical construction, Proceedings of International Conference [in Russian], Vol. 2, Saint Petersburg-Moscow (2003).