The Constructor

What is Foundation Settlement? Its Types and Causes

foundation settlement

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What is foundation settlement?

Inevitably, soils deform under the load of foundation structures. The total vertical displacement that occur at foundation level is termed as settlement. The cause of foundation settlement is the reduction of volume air void ratio in the soil. Moreover, the magnitude of foundation settlement is controlled by many factors type of soil and foundation structure. Foundations on bedrock settle a negligible amount. In contrary, Foundations in other types of soil such as clay may settle much more. An example of this is Mexico City palace of fine arts has settled more than 15 feet (4.5m) into the clay soil on which it is founded since it was constructed in the early 1930s. However, building foundation settlement is normally limited to amounts measured in millimeter or fractions of an inch. Structures will suffer damages due to settlement of its foundation specifically when the settlement occur in quick manner. In this article, different types of foundation settlement along with their cases and expected effects on the structure will be discussed.

Types of foundation settlement

Differential foundation settlement

Fig.1:Differential settlement

Fig.2:Cracks due to differential settlement

Uniform foundation settlement

Fig.3:Uniform foundation settlement, no cracks development

Fig.4: Difference between uniform and differential settlement

Foundation settlement causes

Direct causes

Indirect causes

Components of total settlement of foundations

Immediate settlement

Primary settlement

Secondary settlement

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