Forensic Engineering Evaluation of Excessive Differential Settlement on Compressible Clays
Keywords:consolidation settlement, foundations, settlement, differential settlement, compressible clays, root cause errors , time-rate effects, geotechnical , site development, San Diego
This forensic engineering (FE) study evaluated root cause errors associated with excessive differential settlements on a housing project constructed on top of a variable thickness layer of highly compressible clays. The structures were reported to have experienced differential settlements on the order of 2 to 10 in. across 40 ft. The FE study examined fundamental assumptions, granularity/resolution of the settlement and differential settlement analyses, and finalized grading plan vs. the conceptual grading plan used as a basis for the differential settlement predictions. The FE study found numerous discrepancies between the “idealized site” used as a basis of analysis and the “actual site” as constructed.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Engineering and Design, Settlement Analysis,” EM 1110-1-1904, dated September 30, 1990.
Geotechnical Design Report prepared for project and presented in disclosure documents.
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