The design process for structures on expansive clay should consist of a feasibility study, preliminary design phase to establish the overall concept and a detailed design phase to complete the engineering description of the project. This report provides background information for establishing the preliminary design of structures in swelling soil areas based on field studies conducted by the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (WES) and experiences of numerous investigators. The overview includes analyses of site and soil investigations, topography and landscaping including drainage and soil stabilization techniques, and selection of the foundation and superstructure. General suggestions for remedial repair of existing structures are also provided. Analysis of the movement of cast-in-place concrete piers in swelling soil are included to provide a basis for design of these foundations. Numerous structures constructed on expansive clay soil have experienced and sustained significant damage from differential heave and settlement. The types of structures most often damaged from heaving soil include highways, foundations and walls of residential and light commercial buildings, canal and reservoir linings, and retaining walls. The leading cause of foundation heave or settlement is change in soil mositure attributed to change in the field environment (e.g., climatic changes, prevention of evaporation beneath covered areas, improper drainage following construction and from usage requirements of the structure.

  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. Army Waterways Experiment Station

    Geotechnical Laboratory, 3909 Halls Ferry Road
    Vicksburg, MS  United States  39180-6199

    Department of the Army

    Office of the Chief of Engineers
    Washington, DC  United States  20310
  • Authors:
    • Johnson, L D
  • Publication Date: 1979-9

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 108 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00307535
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Misc Paper GL-79-21 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: AT40 EO 004
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 11 1980 12:00AM