Title: Introduction to the State-of-the-Art Mat Foundation Design and Construction
Author(s): E. J. Ulrich, JR.
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 1-12
Keywords: mat foundations; soil mechanics; structural design; subgrades; Design
Subgrade response is the most important parameter in analyzing and designing mat foundations. Rational design of a mat foundation requires consideration of immediate and long term subgrade response. The soil response determines mat behavior, and differential movement exacerbates moments. Often, long term movement provides the most severe mat behavior characteristics. The popular use of a single modulus of subgrade reaction k, to model subgrade response is wrong and will lead to wrong designs. Mat analysis and design should be performed using the discrete area method, in which subgrade responses can be properly modeled because of the use of varying moduli of subgrade reaction. The geotechnical engineer and the structural engineer must form a solid bond to cope with mat foundation design from early planning through construction; both must work together to assure successful performance. Often, construction details and procedures will govern performance and can ruin any analysis. For this reason, the geotechnical engineer should be on site accessing conditions.