Unexpected but foreseeable mat settlements on Piedmont residuum

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A large mat foundation was constructed to support a 13-story dormitory on Piedmont residual silty soils in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to construction, the geotechnical consultant of record estimated maximum expected settlements of the mat on the order of 1.8 inches (46 mm), while the building proceeded to deflect as much as 10 inches (250 mm) at the center and 5 inches (127 mm) at the corners near the end of construction. Details on the case history are reviewed by an outside observer and placed within the context of geotechnical practice. In addition to routine soil borings, the use of enhanced in-situ testing (in this case, flat dilatometer tests) in concert with elastic continuum solutions would have provided calculated values in line with the observed performance.


foundations, displacements, elasticity, in-situ tests, mats, rafts, settlements

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