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Optimal design of reinforced concrete retaining avails ,

Shravya Donkada and Devdas Menon

For delivering an acceptable design, today's design This paper aims at developing an understanding of optimal design solutions for three types of reinforced practitioners increasingly rely on P C based programs concrete retaining walls, namely, cantilever retaining that require parameters, such as toe or heel lengths and stem widths. The process invariably involves a walls, counterfort retaining walls and retaining walls trial and error procedure. O b t a i n i n g a satisfactory with relieving platforms. Using genetic algorithms, design per se, does reveal its cost position against the parametric studies were carried out to establish optimal design. The present study therefore aims at heuristic rules for proportioning the wall dimensions developing an optimal design solution for reinforced corresponding to the minimum cost points. Optimal concrete retaining walls, namely, cantilever retaining cost-estimates of the retaining walls types were compared walls, counterfort retaining walls and retaining walls w i t h to establish the best design alternative for a given relieving platforms, i n terms of m i n i m u m cost as per the IS456:2000 code. In this connection, this paper discusses height. Also, the advantages of retaining walls with the heuristic rules for the required w a l l dimensions. relieving platforms, which are relatively new in India, Incidentally, it may be noted that one of the w a l l types are discussed. studied is the retaining walls w i t h relieving platforms. This w a l l type provides an innovative design alternative Keywords: Reinforced concrete retaining walls; optimal and is common i n Europe, but relatively new to India. design; relieving platforms; cantilever walls; counterfort walls; genetic algorithms. The scope of this study was confined to retaining walls ranging from 5 m to 23 m height. A n y surcharge was Introduction converted to an equivalent height and included i n the heuristic rules. The study assumed that proper drainage The design of retaining w a l l almost always involves conditions. However, the effect of earthquake loading decision making w i t h a choice or set of choices along was excluded, as the scope was limited to incorporating w i t h their associated uncertainties and outcomes. While the effects of gravity loading. The reason for doing so designing such structures, a designer may propose a was to insulate the design outcome from the complexities large number of feasible designs; however, professional that arise from the seismic zoning of sites, for example, considerations require that o n l y the most o p t i m a l moderate or high seismic zone. one, w i t h the least cost be chosen for construction.
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APRIL 2012 THE INDIAN CONCRETE JOURNAL

Types of retaining walls


It is well k n o w n that retaining walls are structures that h o l d back soil or rock f r o m a b u i l d i n g , structure or area. They prevent down-slope movement or erosion and provide support for vertical or near-vertical grade changes. The lateral earth pressure b e h i n d the w a l l depends on the angle of internal friction and the cohesive strength of the retained material, as well as the direction and
2

V\ )
1 f!

jti

Counterfort wall

\Relieving /platforms

* 2

x\
2

*3

"i_r

*2

*r
*6

(a) Cantilever retaining wall

(b) Counterfort retaining wall

(c) Retaining wall with relieving platforms

of the retaining walls. Its distribution is typically triangular, least at the top of the w a l l and increasing towards the bottom. The earth pressure could p u s h the w a l l forward or overturn it if not properly addressed. Also, the groundwater behind the w a l l should be dissipated by a suitable drainage system; otherwise, this could lead to an additional horizontal pressure on the wall. A l t h o u g h the effect of surcharge l o a d i n g was not explicitly considered here, it can be approximated as an equivalent height of retained earth. A s stated earlier, this study deals w i t h the following types of retaining walls:

magnitude of movement of the stems

Figure 1. Types of concrete retaining walls

Cantilever retaining w a l l : Such walls transmit loads f r o m the vertical p o r t i o n , t h r o u g h the cantilever action, to a large structural footing, converting horizontal pressures from behind the wall to vertical pressures on the ground below. This w a l l type is believed to be economical up to a height of about 7 m (Figure la). Since the backfill acts on the base, p r o v i d i n g most of the dead weight, the requirement of construction materials for this w a l l type is much less than a traditional gravity w a l l .
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platform . Retaining wall with relieving platforms is relatively new to Indian construction industry. Such walls are k n o w n to provide an economical lightweight design solution for relatively tall walls. The retaining w a l l is s h i e l d e d f r o m active earth pressure by means of one or more relieving platforms (Figure lc) w h i c h make the pressure diagram discontinuous at the level of the platform. Also, the relieving platform carries the weight of the soil above it and any surcharge loading, transferring them as a 'relieving' moment to the vertical stem. The r e l i e v i n g platforms are designed such that they intersect the plane of rupture f r o m the soil above and behind the platforms preventing any load from the soil to act on the wall. This aspect is the key to designing such walls.
4,0

Typically, a retaining w a l l design includes : Performing stability checks for the retaining wall against sliding and overturning. C o m p u t i n g the m a x i m u m a n d m i n i m u m bearing pressures present under the toe and heel and c o m p a r i n g them w i t h the allowable s o i l pressure. D e s i g n i n g the r e i n f o r c i n g steel for the toe, h e e l , stem a n d other parts c o n s i d e r i n g the corresponding bending and shear forces.

Counterfort retaining w a l l : Cantilever retaining walls, sometimes, include short w i n g walls at right angles to the m a i n trend of the w a l l on their back, to improve their resistance to lateral loads. Introducing transverse supports reduces bending moments, w h e n the heights are large. Such supports, called counterforts, connect the stem w i t h the heel slab. This w a l l type is believed to be economical for heights greater than 7 m (Figure l b ) .
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Estimation of earth pressure


T w o classical theories are used for estimating the lateral earth-pressures: Rankine's theory Coulomb's theory

Retaining w a l l w i t h relieving platforms: W h e n the depth of soil to be retained is excessive, soil pressures can be reduced by the use of a relieving

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THE INDIAN C O N C R E T E J O U R N A L A P R I L 2012

Table 1. Comparison of results obtained from designs following Rankine's and Coulomb's theories
Parameter Cact Cpas Footing length, m Concrete weight, k N / m Reinforcement, m / m
3

Rankine 's theory 0.373 2.502 4.4 154.2 0.037 53,531

Coulomb 's theory 0.240 5.789 3.6 140.1 0.046 44,480

T o a r r i v e at the t o t a l , a 10 p e r c e n t a d d i t i o n to the cost was m a d e to a c c o u n t f o r the v a r i o u s u n c e r t a i n t i e s i n the ' a s s u m p t i o n s . T h e costs c o n s i d e r e d w e r e b a s e d o n the D e l h i S c h e d u l e of Rates 2007.

Design inputs
1. Site c o n d i t i o n s : h, hp 2. Soil properties : S B C , th
w

Cost estimate, R s / m
2

(For a cantilever retaining w a l l of height 7 m above g r o u n d level w i t h SBC=200 k N / m ; th=25; fi=37; thw=15; mu=0.5; fck=25MPa; fy = 4 1 5 M P a ; Cact and C p a s are the active and passive coefficients)

mu,fi, th
c s

3. M a t e r i a l p r o p e r t i e s
w

:f&,L, d , d

W h i l e R a n k i n e ' s t h e o r y c o n s i d e r s the b a c k of the w a l l to be p e r f e c t l y s m o o t h , C o u l o m b ' s t h e o r y c o n s i d e r s the existence of f r i c t i o n b e t w e e n the w a l l a n d the b a c k f i l l .


5 , 6

A d e s i g n e r m a y f i n d the R a n k i n e ' s d e s i g n a p p r o a c h s i m p l e r a n d the o n e t h a t g i v e s a m o r e c o n s e r v a t i v e d e s i g n , b u t C o u l o m b ' s d e s i g n is seen as m o r e p r a c t i c a l o n e s i n c e it i n v o l v e s r e a l l i f e s c e n a r i o - t h e f r i c t i o n b e t w e e n the w a l l a n d the b a c k f i l l . T h e C o u l o m b ' s d e s i g n a p p r o a c h g i v e s a cost-effective d e s i g n as c o m p a r e d to R a n k i n e ' s d e s i g n a p p r o a c h , a n d the extent of s a v i n g s c o u l d be as h i g h as 20 p e r c e n t i n s o m e instances. approaches. I n v i e w of the a b o v e , t h i s p a p e r f o l l o w s the C o u l o m b ' s d e s i g n a p p r o a c h f o r o p t i m i s i n g the genetic a l g o r i t h m . Table 1 c o m p a r e s the r e s u l t s o b t a i n e d f r o m these t w o d e s i g n

W h e r e h, hf a n d ih are r e s p e c t i v e l y the h e i g h t of the r e t a i n e d s o i l o n the h e e l s i d e of the r e t a i n i n g w a l l , h e i g h t of the s o i l o n the toe s i d e of the r e t a i n i n g w a l l a n d b a c k f i l l s l o p e ; S B C , mu,fi a n d th are the safe b e a r i n g c a p a c i t y of the s o i l , coefficient of f r i c t i o n at the base of the w a l l , a n g l e of f r i c t i o n of the b a c k f i l l a n d a n g l e of f r i c t i o n b e t w e e n the w a l l a n d b a c k f i l l r e s p e c t i v e l y ; / ^ andfy are the g r a d e s of concrete a n d steel; d a n d d the d e n s i t i e s of concrete a n d steel r e s p e c t i v e l y .
c s

Design variables
F i g u r e 1 s h o w s the d e s i g n v a r i a b l e s c o n s i d e r e d for v a r i o u s t y p e s of r e t a i n i n g w a l l s , the s a m e are l i s t e d below:

1. Cantilever retaining wall


F o o t i n g t h i c k n e s s (x ); s t e m t h i c k n e s s at the b o t t o m (x );
2 2

toe slab l e n g t h (x ); b a r d i a m e t e r s i n the toe slab, h e e l slab


3

a n d s t e m r e s p e c t i v e l y (x , x a n d x ) ( N o t i n F i g u r e 1)
4 5 6

Formulation for optimal design


S i n c e the p u r p o s e of o p t i m i z a t i o n i n t h i s s t u d y w a s to m i n i m i z e the cost, t h e objective f u n c t i o n i n c l u d e d i n the f o r m u l a t i o n w e r e the m a t e r i a l costs of concrete a n d steel, the c a r r i a g e cost of steel, the cost of c e n t e r i n g a n d s h u t t e r i n g a n d the cost of e x c a v a t i o n .

2. Counterfort retaining wall


H e e l s l a b t h i c k n e s s (x ); toe s l a b t h i c k n e s s (x ); s t e m t h i c k n e s s at t h e b o t t o m ( x ) ; c o u n t e r f o r t t h i c k n e s s (x ); c o u n t e r f o r t s p a c i n g (x ); toe s l a b l e n g t h (x ); b a r d i a m e t e r s of the m a i n r e i n f o r c e m e n t i n t h e toe s l a b , h e e l s l a b a n d s t e m r e s p e c t i v e l y (x , x , x a n d x ) ( n o t marked i n Figure lb)
2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

M i n i m i z e cost, C,. = 1.1 ( V A + W where V,


c

3. Retaining wall with relieving platforms


W VR
S CC

+ L R )
CS CS

(1)

F o o t i n g t h i c k n e s s (x ); s t e m t h i c k n e s s at the b o t t o m (x ); toe s l a b l e n g t h (x ); b a r d i a m e t e r s i n the toe s l a b , h e e l slab, s t e m a n d r e l i e v i n g p l a t f o r m r e s p e c t i v e l y (x , x , x


2 2 3 4 5 6

V ,V=i v o l u m e s of c o n c r e t e , steel a n d e x c a v a t i o n
s

a n d x ); relieving p l a t f o r m thickness If
7

(x ).
8

respectively L = l e n g t h of c e n t e r i n g a n d s h u t t e r i n g p r o v i d e d
c

Design constraints
T h e f o l l o w i n g d e s i g n c o n s t r a i n t s w e r e i m p o s e d o n the variables:

R,
c

R,
s

R,
e

R ,R
CC

CS

= u n i t costs of c o n c r e t e ,

steel,

1. F a c t o r of safety a g a i n s t o v e r t u r n i n g > 1.4 2. F a c t o r of safety a g a i n s t s l i d i n g > 1.4

e x c a v a t i o n , steel c a r r i a g e a n d c e n t e r i n g a n d s h u t t e r i n g respectively

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Table 2 Cantilever retaining walls - optimal solutions for various heights


h, m 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
%2f

m 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25

m 0.28 0.33 0.38 0.45 0.52 0.6 0.72 0.78 0.91 1.02

m 0.45 0.53 0.62 0.71 0.79 0.89 1.00 1.10 1.22 1.33

m 0.52 0.73 0.96 1.21 1.48 1.75 2.04 2.35 2.67 3.00

c, mm

B,
2

A, 2 2 mm 1748 2215 2682 3186 3821 4365 4813 5471 5945 6539
2

499 928 1525 2012 2623 3192 3289 4397 4594 5167

mm 1244 1293 1340 1305 1311 1289 1182 1224 1163 1172

1, m 2.32 2.83 3.3 3.83 4.38 4.92 5.48 6.06 6.64 7.24

c, Rs. 25316 32574 41140 51147 62853 76295 91497 108617 128518 149741

Savings, Rs. 33182 42631 53531 66166 82828 100791 123585 147208 182064 214338

%
23.7 23.6 23.1 22.7 24.1 24.3 25.9 26.2 29.4 30.1

C , B, A = areas of steel i n the toe slab, heel slab and stem respectively i n m m / m , as s h o w n i n Figure 2; 1 = length of the base slab i n m C = traditional cost of construction of the w a l l per unit length i n R s / m ; C = optimal cost obtained f r o m G A c o d i n g per unit length i n R s / m
t 0

Table 3. Counterfort retaining walls - optimal solutions for varies heights


h, m 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 h, m 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 A, 2 mm 450 675 1088 1443 1776 2162 2701 3187 3770 4402 hf, m 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 B, 2 mm 782 820 798 924 874 836 796 751 692 653 m 0.25 0.28 0.29 0.3 0.31 0.32 0.33 0.34 0.36 0.38 c, 2 mm 578 580 567 616 598 597 572 569 526 504 D, 2 mm 300 336 348 360 372 384 396 416 448 480 x,
2

*3'

m 0.26 0.33 0.4 0.47 0.56 0.65 0.74 0.84 0.94 1.04 E, 2 mm 396 420 444 468 492 516 540 552 * 564 588

m 0.33 0.35 0.37 0.39 0.41 0.43 0.45 0.46 0.47 0.49 F, 2 mm 396 420 444 468 492 516 540 552 564 588

m 0.2 0.21 0.24 0.27 0.3 0.34 0.4 0.48 0.54 0.62 G, 2 mm 396 420 444 468 492 516 540 552 564 588 H, 2 mm 1237 1684 2216 2834 3528 4312 5239 * 6220 7353 8652
2

*5/ m 2.47 2.52 2.56 2.6 2.63 2.65 2.68 2.7 2.71 2.73

m 0.46 0.66 0.93 1.12 1.39 1.66 1.95 2.26 2.58 2.91

1, m 2.32 2.82 3.38 3.87 4.44 5 5.59 6.19 6.81 7.43 Savings, % 8.4 8.6 8.3 8.4 8.7 9.6 9.6 10.9 11.8 12.6

Rs. 37006 47161 58595 71499 85997 102559 120863 140847 164057 189504

Rs. 40422 51625 63908 78087 94258 113441 133719 158042 186047 216805

1 = length of base i n m ; A = area of steel reinforcement i n toe slab, as s h o w n i n Figure 3(a) i n m m / m ; B, C = top reinforcement near the counterfort and bottom reinforcement at the m i d d l e of heel slab l m f r o m the end, due to continuous beam action; D = top reinforcement i n heel slab, due to cantilever action; E, F = rear and front face reinforcements i n stem, due to continuous beam action; G = rear face reinforcement i n stem, due to cantilever action; H = counterfort reinforcement, as s h o w n i n Figure 3(b) i n m m / m ; C = traditional cost of construction of the w a l l per unit length i n R u p e e s / m ; C = optimal cost obtained f r o m G A c o d i n g per unit length i n R u p e e s / m
2 t 0

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Table 4. Retaining walls with relieving pfatform - optimal solutions for varies heights
h, m 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 hf, m 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 1.25 m 0.32 0.40 0.49 0.58 0.65 0.71 0.81 0.90 0.97 1.08 1.18 1.28 1.39 1.50 x, m
2

"3/

8'

m 0.74 0.86 0.98 1.09 1.32 1.60 1.90 2.20 2.53 2.86 3.22 3.58 3.96 4.34

m 0.20 0.22 0.24 0.29 0.34 0.39 0.44 0.50 0.57 0.64 0.71 0.80 0.89 1.15

A, mm

B, mm

,
2

C, mm

D, mm

I,
2

c ,

m 2.56 2.96 3.35 3.72 4.21 4.75 5.31 5.87 6.45 7.04 7.65 8.27 8.91 9.53

Rs. 25826 33464 42651 53601 66208 80898 97591 116161 137185 159210 186107 214234 245396 278953

Rs. 28893 36827 46428 56436 69326 85825 100095 122096 142397 16^705 201869 236542 282854 321143

Savings, % 10.7 9.2 8.2 5.1 4.5 5.8 2.6 4.9 3.7 5.7 7.9 9.5 13.3 13.2

0.39 0.48 0.56 0.67 0.80 0.96 1.08 1.25 1.38 1.51 1.67 1.81 1.96 2.13

474 565 658 762 1010 1343 1637 2085 2814 3328 4050 4863 5706 6655

.1923 2549 3340 4228 5100 5830 6365 6592 7495 7962 8198 8763 9132 9269

673 916 1203 1323 1604 1963 2413 2833 3232 3712 4274 4732 5271 4528

1812 2146 2620 2966 3235 3413 3858 4098 4562 5051 5455 5963 6472 6915

Here, C , B, D and A are the areas of steel i n the toe slab, heel slab, relieving platform and stem respectively i n m m 2 / m , as s h o w n i n Fig.4; 1 is the length of the base slab i n m ; C o is the optimal cost obtained f r o m G A c o d i n g and C t is the traditional cost of construction of the w a l l per unit length i n Rupees/m.

3. 0 <Eccentricity of the resultant reaction force at the footing< footing length / 6 4. M a x i m u m reaction pressure o n the footing < SBC 5. M i n i m u m reaction pressure on the footing > 0 6. R e s t r i c t i o n s o n m a x i m u m a n d m i n i m u m reinforcement percentage a n d reinforcement spacing as per IS 456:2000 code
1

the formulations described earlier using M A T L A B . A faster convergence was achieved w h e n the population size, number of generations, mutation rate and crossover rate were at 250, 50, 0.075 and 0.8 respectively.

Results of optimization
Typical optimal solutions
The programs developed were a p p l i e d to generate optimal solutions for the three different types of walls of various heights. The heights ranged from 5 m to 14 m i n the case of cantilever and counterfort walls, however for the walls w i t h relieving platforms, the range was 5 m to 18 m . In all the cases hc= 1.25 m and a linear tapering i n the stem w a l l thickness assumed (0.2 m - 0.3 m at the top). A l s o , the soil properties assumed were :SBC = 200 kN/m ,f/z = 25,/f = 3 7 , % =15 a n d mu = 0.5. It may be noted that w h e n the height considered was greater than 14 m , no feasible solutions were possible for the cantilever and counterfort retaining walls cases, as the computed m a x i m u m bearing pressure o n the footing exceeded the Safe Bearing Capacity of the soil, i.e., bearing check failed.
2

7. Restrictions o n m a x i m u m shear stress i n the footing, stem and other parts based on concrete grade as per IS 456:2000 code
1

Optimization using genetic algorithms


This study used Genetic algorithms (GA) for carrying out searches within the design space. G A is a heuristic search method, w h i c h uses the process of natural selection for finding the global o p t i m u m . These algorithms search a given population of potential solutions to find the best solution. They first apply the principle of survival of the fittest to find better and better approximations. A t each generation of values for design variables, a new set of approximations is created by the process of selecting individual potential solutions (individuals) according to their level of fitness i n the problem domain and breeding them together using G A operators. G A does not use the gradient but uses the values of objective functions and hence it can be used where the search space is discontinuous. Programs were developed incorporating
8

This was also the case w i t h the w a l l w i t h r e l i e v i n g platforms w h e n its height exceeded 18 m . Feasible solutions are possible only w h e n the S B C is higher than the computed maximum bearing pressure on the footing. This is explored further i n the paper. Tables 2,3 and 4 list the optimal solutions generated for the three w a l l types, considering M25 grade of concrete

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A/3

A/3

a n d Fe415 g r a d e bars for the m a i n r e i n f o r c e m e n t steel. Fe250 g r a d e b a r s w e r e u s e d f o r t e m p e r a t u r e a n d shrinkage reinforcement. N o m i n a l reinforcement was p r o v i d e d w h e r e v e r n e c e s s a r y . F i g u r e s 2, 3 a n d 4 s h o w the t y p i c a l r e i n f o r c e m e n t d e t a i l i n g i n the three w a l l s . I n the case of the c o u n t e r f o r t w a l l , o n l y the m a i n b a r s are s h o w n i n F i g u r e 3; c u r t a i l m e n t s of r e i n f o r c e m e n t at 2 / 3 and l / 3 h e i g h t s of the s t e m ( c a l c u l a t e d u s i n g basic p r i n c i p l e s ) are n o t s h o w n . A l s o , the a d d i t i o n a l h o r i z o n t a l a n d v e r t i c a l ties p r o v i d e d i n t h e c o u n t e r f o r t are n o t s h o w n . I n the case of w a l l s w i t h the r e l i e v i n g p l a t f o r m s , t w o r e l i e v i n g p l a t f o r m s at l / 3 a n d 2 / 3 l o c a t i o n s of the w a l l h e i g h t , w e r e a s s u m e d f o r a l l w a l l h e i g h t s to m a i n t a i n consistency i n results.
r d r r d rd

Figure 2. Reinforcement detailing of cantilever retaining wall. (A, B, and C are area of reinforcement in mm /m; han&hf are in m)
2

F i g u r e s 5, 6 a n d 7 s h o w the v a r i a t i o n s i n the o p t i m a l g e o m e t r i c d i m e n s i o n s ( w a l l / s l a b t h i c k n e s s ) f o r the three t y p e s of w a l l s . T h e s e c o m p r i s e : f o o t i n g t h i c k n e s s (jj), s t e m b a s e t h i c k n e s s (x ) a n d toe s l a b l e n g t h ( x ) i n the case of the c a n t i l e v e r w a l l ( F i g u r e 5); h e e l s l a b t h i c k n e s s (x ), toe s l a b t h i c k n e s s (x ), s t e m base t h i c k n e s s (x ), c o u n t e r f o r t t h i c k n e s s (x ), c o u n t e r f o r t s p a c i n g (x ) a n d toe slab l e n g t h (x )in the case of the c o u n t e r f o r t w a l l ( F i g u r e 6); a n d f o o t i n g t h i c k n e s s (x ), s t e m base t h i c k n e s s (x ), toe s l a b l e n g t h (x ) a n d r e l i e v i n g p l a t f o r m t h i c k n e s s
2 3 2 2 3 4 5 6 2 2 3

Figure 3(a). Reinforcement detailing of stem and footing slab for counterfort retaining wall. (A, B, D, E, F and G are area of reinforcement in mm /m)
2

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THE INDIAN C O N C R E T E J O U R N A L A P R I L 2012

(x ) i n the case of the w a l l w i t h relieving platforms (Figure 7). F r o m the figures, it appears that the slab thickness increases somewhat linearly w i t h the increase i n the w a l l height. U s i n g the trends i n Figures 5-7 and Tables 2-4, it is possible to arrive at heuristic rules for optimal proportioning of the various elements.
g

Cost comparison between optimal design and conventional design


The literature suggests that Genetic algorithms always give a better optimal solution than the conventional design methods practised in the industry . The following inferences may be drawn from Tables 2-4, w h i c h include the conventional design costs.
7

For 5 m and 14 m high cantilever walls on a soil of SBC 200 k N / m , for the given parameters, the savings p r o v i d e d b y the b p t i m a l design, c o m p a r e d to the c o n v e n t i o n a l d e s i g n , were between 23.7 to 30.1 percent. The savings increase w i t h the increase i n the w a l l height.
2 s

Similarly, for the optimal counterfort walls, the savings was 8.4 percent to 12.6 percent for the height increase from 5 to 14 m respectively.

32.5 > 2K.

Jk y

y^"'

*5 .. > . . H e e l slab thickness U Toe slab thickness * - Stem base thickness > * Couterfort thickness Toe slab length M Counterfort spacing

c T

r 3
-3

'55 Si

i _. x
4

0.5 j 05

-1

~~9

11

13

15

Wall height (in m)

Figure 4. Reinforcement detailing of retaining wall with relieving platforms. (A, B, C and D are area of reinforcement in mm /m)
2

Figure 6. Variation of counterfort wall dimensions with wall height

4.5 n

5 Wall height, m

11

14

17

20

Wall height (m)

Figure 5. Variation of cantilever wall dimensions with wall height

Figure 7. Variation of retaining wall with relieving platform dimensions with wall height

APRIL 2012 THE INDIAN CONCRETE JOURNAL


\

J 15

In the case of walls w i t h relieving platforms, the o p t i m i s a t i o n of cost s a v i n g s i n c r e a s e d f r o m 2.6 p e r c e n t ( f o r w a l l h e i g h t of 11 m) to 13.2 percent (for w a l l height of 18 m) by 10.6 percent. In the case of heights less than 11 m , no definite trend i n the saving was observed.

' Relieving platform length = 0.33 h tan - y

(2)

Effect of change in soil bearing capacity The optimization study was extended to include the soil bearing capacities i n the range 150 k N / m t o 300 k N / m . The results suggest that the linear trends observed earlier for S B C = 200 k N / m also hold good for the extended range. H o w e v e r , the o p t i m a l solutions for various w a l l / slab thicknesses were dependent o n the SBC. These were included i n the heuristic rules.
2 2 2 6

A linear m o d e l was p r o p o s e d for the v a r i a t i o n of wall/slab thickness w i t h w a l l height, for the sake of simplicity i n calculation and application. Based on the above observations, heuristic design rules proposed for a retaining w a l l built o n soil w i t h th = 25, fi = 37, th = 15 and mu = 0.5 and different S B C values (150,200 and 300 k N / m ) , are tabulated i n Table 5. U s i n g these guidelines, a designer can select w a l l and slab thickness proportions that are likely to be close to this optimal solutions for preliminary design, without carrying out an optimization study.
b 2

Heuristic guidelines for optimal design Based on the optimal solutions obtained for these w a l l types and heights, several heuristic guidelines can be arrived at . The following expression can be used to arrive at a near-optimal value of the length of the heel slab:
7

M25 concrete and Fe415 reinforcement steel were found to give optimal design solutions i n all cases.

Best retaining wall design option


Based on the study, the costs corresponding to the optimal designs for various w a l l heights were compared for the soil parameters; th = 25; fi = 37; th =15; mu = 0.5). Figures 8, 9 and 10 show the cost per meter w a l l length for S B C = 150, 200 and 300 k N / i r r e s p e c t i v e l y .
b

Heel slab length=

AJ

(1)

In the case of w a l l s w i t h r e l i e v i n g p l a t f o r m s , the f o l l o w i n g expression for the length of the platform, yielded near-optimal solutions:
3

The results suggest that the cantilever retaining w a l l , always yields the most economical solution. However, the wall height gets restricted when the SBC is low. W h e n this happens the retaining wall w i t h relieving platforms,

Table 5. Design heuristic rules for the three types of walls with different SBC values - optimal wall / slab thickness values (in m)
Wall / slab thickness 1. Cantilever retaining wall Footing thickness x
v

SBC, k N / m 150 0.064h- 0.04 0.090 h 0.284h - 0.66 200 0.082 h - 0.13 0.097 h - 0.04 0.275 h - 0.858 0.012 h + 0.204 0.087 h - 0.172 0.019h + 0.242 0.047 h - 0.032 0.027 h + 2.387 0.272 h - 0 . 9 0 1 0.089 h - 0.125 0.131h - 0.263 0.268 h - 0.602 0.057 h - 0 . 0 8 7

300 0.091h - 0.173 0.109h - 0.096 0.213h - 0.576 0.025 h + 0.193; for h< 13m 0.480; for h> 13m 0.109 h - 0.296 0.013 h + 0.289 0.076 h - 0.161 0.018 h + 2.390; for h< 15m 2.650; for h> 15m 0.242 h - 0.812 0.109 h - 0.227 0.165 h - 0.434 0.226 h - 0.390 0.072 h - 0.157

m
2

Stem base thickness x , m Toe slab length x , m


3

2. Counterfort retaining wall H e e l slab thickness x


2 v

0.017h + 0.15 0.067h - 0.058 0.020h + 0.228 m 0.022 h +0.117 0.053 h + 2.234 0.282 h - 0.719

Toe slab thickness x , m Stem base thickness x , m


3

Counterfort thickness x
5

4/

Counterfort spacing x , m Toe slab length x^ m Footing thickness x m


2

3. Retaining wall with two relieving platforms


v

0.082 h - 0.088 0.129 h - 0.264 0.330 h - 0.899


g

Stem base thickness x , m Toe slab length x , m


3

Relieving platform thickness x , m h - H e i g h t of w a l l above the g r o u n d level

0.054 h - 0.072

16 I THE INDIAN CONCRETE JOURNAL APRIL 2012

w h i c h is a relatively new concept i n India, provides the most economical solution. The traditional assumption that w a l l s w i t h c o u n t e r f o r t s are likely to be more cost-effective than cantilever walls for heights exceeding about 8 m, was not found to be true. The optimally designed counterfort retaining w a l l w a s f o u n d to be a more costly solution compared to the optimally designed cantilever w a l l and w a l l w i t h relieving platforms for nearly all w a l l heights. It may be noted that the cost shown i n Figures 8-10 were based o n Delhi Schedule of rates 2007. The authors believe that even if they change w i t h time, the relative costs of steel and concrete are l i k e l y to r e m a i n the same.

250000
00

g 200000 150000 c 100000 O p t i m a l Cantilever w a l l cost O p t i m a l Counterfort w a l l cost O p t i m a l wall with relieving platforms c'ost 11 13 15 L7

50000

W a l l height (h + hi) i n m (SBC = 1 5 0 k N / m ; th = 2 5 ; ^ =37; th = 15; mu = 0.5)


2 b

Figure 8. Optimal design cost estimates


300000 g
&

250000200000 - O p t i m a l Cantilever w a l l cost

Conclusions
The salient conclusions, based o n the study, can be s u m m a r i z e d as follows: C o u l o m b ' s theory, w h i c h accounts for wall friction, gives a better cost-effective design alternative for a retaining w a l l than Rankine's theory, w h i c h is currently used i n practice, for convenience. The traditional belief that walls with counterforts are likely to be more cost-effective than cantilever w a l l s for heights exceeding about 8 m, was not f o u n d to be true, w h e n a n o p t i m a l design was carried out. The optimally designed cantilever retaining wall was f o u n d to be i n v a r i a b l y the most cost-effective solution for w a l l heights, where feasible solutions were possible (depending o n safe bearing capacity). The retaining w a l l w i t h relieving platforms, w h i c h is a relatively n e w concept i n

& "

150000 100000 50000

O p t i m a l Counterfort w a l l cost

Optimal wall with relieving platforms cost 9 11 13 15 17 19

W a l l height i n m (SBC = 2 0 0 k N / m ; th = 75;fi =37; th = 15; mu = 0.5)


2

Figure 9. Optimal design cost estimates


500000

-g

450000 -

/ ' t / / - O p t i m a l Cantilever w a l l cost O p t i m a l Counterfort w a l l cost Optimal wall with relieving platforms cost

to 400000 a 350000 -

300000 250000 200000 "

/ / V

.**

o 13
u

150000 100000 50000


U

11

13

15

17

19

21

23

25

W a l l height i n m (SBC = 3 0 0 k N / m ; th = 25;fi =37; th = 15 mu = 0.5)


2 h

Figure 10 Optimal design cost estimates

APRIL 2012 THE INDIAN CONCRETE JOURNAL

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India, provides the most economical solution for tall w a l l heights, where the cantilever retaining w a l l is not a feasible option. Heuristic design rules are proposed i n this paper to enable the proportioning of various w a l l and slab elements for different types of R C retaining walls a n d different heights. The use of these thumb-rules is likely to result i n a near-optimal design, without the need to carry out an explicit optimization. References
2. 2. 3. Code ofpractice for plain and reinforced concrete, IS 456, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, 2000. Pillai, S. U. and Menon, D., Reinforced Concrete Design, 3 Ed., Tata McGrawHill Publishing Company Ltd., New Delhi, India, 2009.
rd

7.

S h r a v y a , D . , Optimal design of reinforced concrete retaining walls, B . T e c h Thesis, Department of C i v i l Engineering, I n d i a n Institute of Technology, M a d r a s , 2010. G o l d b e r g , D . E . , Genetic Algorithms in Search, Optimization and Machine Learning, A d d i s o n - W e s l e y L o n g m a n P u b l i s h i n g C o . , Inc. Boston, M A , U S A , 1989.

8.

Ms. Shravya Donkada has received her Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. She is currently pursuing her Master's program majoring in Structural Engineering at The University of Texas, Austin, USA. Her research interests include dynamic response of structures, finite element methods and computational methods in structural engineering.

Committee for waterfront structures of the Society for I larbour F.ngineering and the German Society for Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, Recommendations of the committee for waterfront structures EAU, 5 Ed.. Wilhelm, Ernst and Sohn, Berlin, Munich and Dusscldorf, Germany, 1985.
th

4.

Yakovlev, P.I., Foundation Engineering: Experimental investigations of earth pressure on walls with tivo relieving platforms in the case of breaking loads on the backfill, Plenum Publishing Corporation, New York, USA, 1974. Craig, R. F., Craig's soil mechanics, 7 Croup, New York, USA, 2004.
th

5. 6.

Ed., Spon Press, Talyor and Francis

David McCarthy, F., Essentials ofsoil mechanics andfoundations, 6 Ed., Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2002.
th

Dr. Devdas Menon is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Madras, engaged in teaching, research and consultancy in structural engineering. His research interests are primarily in reinforced and prestressed concrete design (especially chimneys, towers and bridges) and structural reliability. His numerous technical publications include popular textbooks on "Reinforced Concrete Design" (Tata McGraw-Hill), "Structural Analysis" (Narosa) and "Advanced Structural Analysis" (Narosa). He is presently Chairman of the Bureau of Indian Standards Committee (CED 38) on "Special Structures".

(t

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T H E I N D I A N C O N C R E T E J O U R N A L APRIL 2012