Subgrade Modeling for Mat Foundations: A Review and Critique of Analytical Methods


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Title: Subgrade Modeling for Mat Foundations: A Review and Critique of Analytical Methods

Author(s): J. S. Horvath

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 152


Appears on pages(s): 117-160

Keywords: computer programs; foundations; mat foundations; models; soil mechanics; structural analysis; subgrades; superstructures; Structural Research

Date: 3/1/1995

Two mat foundations supporting buildings were analyzed using traditional methods for modeling soil subgrades, as well as more recently developed methods. The primary purpose of the analysis was to evaluate the relative and absolute accuracy of subgrade models that can be used in routine practice. The results indicate that some of the newer methods consistently provide significantly better agreement between calculated and observed behavior compared to the traditional methods. In addition, determination of the appropriate subgrade parameters is more rational with the newer methods. With current computer analysis capabilities, there is no reason to continue use of traditional methods that were reasonable alternatives when only manual calculations could be performed. Detailed recommendations for modeling subgrades in practice are presented, with consideration given to the capabilities of commercially available structural analysis computer software. Other factors that influence mat behavior, such as superstructure interaction effects, are also discussed.