By H.W. Harrison
Offers construction pros with functional information about these elements of constructions in direct touch with the floor, together with foundations and basements, including exterior works.
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Additional info for BRE building elements: foundations, basements and external works
Greater loads may cause localised overstressing and plastic flow of the soil, with consequent large settlements; and extremely large movements can be expected if the load exceeds the ultimate bearing capacity of the soil so that shear failure occurs. 6 Allowable bearing pressures for different soil conditions Description kN/m2 Rocks*: Strong igneous and gneissic rocks 10 000 Strong limestones and sandstones 4 000 Schists and slates 3 000 Strong shales, mudstones and strong siltstones 2 000 Non-cohesive soils†: Dense gravel or dense sand and gravel > 600 Medium dense gravel or sand and gravel <200–600 Loose gravel or sand and gravel <200 Compact sand >300 Medium dense sand 100–300 Loose sand <100 Cohesive soils: Very stiff boulder clay and hard clay 300–600 Stiff clay 150–300 Firm clay 75–150 Soft clay and silts < 75 Very soft clay and silts not applicable Notes: * Assuming that foundations are taken down to unweathered rock.
Clays can give very satisfactory foundations, but unequal loadings or irregular soil conditions can make settlement vary in amount from place to place under a building. It is this differential settlement that can cause damage. The engineering properties of residual clay are partly governed by the high bonding stresses which existed in the parent rock so that the soil will usually be fairly stiff and behave as a strongly overconsolidated clay. Occasionally, however, the soil may become soft in joints subject to persistent groundwater seepage or where residual ground occupies low lying waterlogged areas.
Gravel is Fine 2–6 more resistant to erosion than sand. Well graded sand and gravel are generally less pervious and more stable than those with uniform particle size. Irregularity of particles increases stability slightly. 02 behaviour, and strength when air-dried is low. 006 Silt: unstable, particularly when moisture is increased with a tendency to become quick (as in quicksand) when saturated. Relatively impervious, difficult to compact, highly susceptible to frost heave, easily erodible. 002 Soil exhibits plastic behaviour within a certain range of moisture contents and considerable strength when air dried.