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MODEL ANSWERS

Q.1. Define foundation. Explain, with sketches, various types of shallow foundations.
ANS: The lowest artificially prepared part of the structures which are in direct contact with the
ground and which transmit the load of the structures to the ground are known as Foundations.
Shallow foundation: When the depth of foundation 'D' is less or equal to the width 'B'
it is called as Shallow Foundation or open foundation i.e. D B. It is placed immediately
beneath the lower part of the super structure. The main object of this type of foundation is to
spread the load of the super structure over a larger area to bring the pressure intensity within safe
limits. These are generally used for all ordinary buildings which carry light or moderate loads
and where good bearing capacity is available at shallow depth, or reasonable depth. i.e. D 5 m.
The various types of shallow foundations are as follows:
Wall Footing (Strip)
Column Footing :
1) Isolated Footing
2) Combined Footing
3) Cantilever Footing or Strap Footing
4) Raft / Mat Footing
Isolated Footing: It is also known as independent footing because for each column separate
footing is provided. It is generally provided under a column to distribute the point or
concentrated load in the form of uniformly distributed load on the soil below. It may be of brick
or stone masonry, R.C.C. etc. This type of footing is also known as 'pad footing. The shape may
be square, rectangular or circular in plan. As per the construction of the pad, they are known as
flat and sloped footings. These are commonly used for framed structures. It can be Simple,
Stepped, Sloped
a) Simple Spread Footing

(b) Stepped Footing

Sloped Footing
(b) Combined Footing:
When two columns rest on a single footing, it is called as 'Combined Footing'. They may be
rectangular or trapezoidal in shape.This type of construction is found necessary when an external
column is situated near the boundary line of the plot and it is not possible to project its footing in
that direction. In such case a combined footing is adopted so that the external column footing
will not encroach upon the area outside the boundary line of the building. Sometimes the two
columns may be very near to each other and it may so happen that footings of these columns
overlap each other. In that case both the columns are made to rest on a combined footing.
It can be of two types
Rectangular
Trapezoidal
(c) Cantilever Footing or Strap Beam Footing: This is also called as eccentrically loaded footing
or Strap Footing. In this case it may so happen that the extreme column of the building is very
close to the boundary so that the extreme column footing is likely to encroach upon the area
outside the boundary line of the plot. In such a case a strap or beam of sufficient strength is
provided at the bottom connecting the boundary or exterior column and the nearest interior
column. The strap or beam thus provided supports the weight of the exterior column. The
interior column rests on its own footing so an eccentric footing is therefore provided just below
the exterior column. The beam jointing the two footings need not touch the soil or rest on the
ground. The cantilever footing is constructed in reinforced cement concrete.

Strap Beam Footing


(d)Raft / Mat Footing: In case of made up grounds, soft clay or marshy site or in case of
possibility of differential settlement, the usual spread footing, will not be suitable. Also, if
excavations are made for footings, very little is left to be excavated. In such case, it is wiser on
our part to excavate over the entire area of the building for its foundation. Generally a R.C.C.

slab of suitable thickness is laid over the entire area of the building in the form of raft or mat and
is therefore known as raft or mat foundation. It is so designed that the allowable bearing power
of the soil is not exceeded. If necessary beams and columns construction is carried out to
improve the strength and stability of the foundation. The raft is designed as an inverted R.C.C.
roof subjected to the uniform distributed load of soil pressure and supported by walls, beams and
columns.

Q.2 What is bearing capacity of soil & what are different methods of finding The bearing
capacity of soil?
BEARING CAPACITY OF SOIL:
Bearing capacity of soil denotes the ability of soil to sustain the total load of the structure
without yielding or showing any settlement.
Types of Bearing capacity
1. Ultimate Bearing Capacity : It denotes the ultimate load per unit area, which would cause
the soil to displace.
2. Safe Bearing Capacity : It denotes the maximum load per unit area, that the soil can
resist safely without displacement.

PLATE LOAD TEST OF DETERMINATION OF BEARING CAPACITY OF


SOIL
Plate Load Test is a field test for determining the ultimate bearing capacity of soil and
the likely settlement under a given load. The Plate Load Test basically consists of loading a steel
plate placed at the foundation level and recording the settlements corresponding to each load
increment. The test load is gradually increased till the plate starts to sink at a rapid rate. The total
value of load on the plate in such a stage divided by the area of the steel plate gives the value of
the ultimate bearing capacity of soil. The ultimate bearing capacity of soil is divided by suitable
factor of safety (which varies from 2 to 3) to arrive at the value of safe bearing capacity of soil.
For better understanding, this Plate Load Test can be sub-divided into the following heads,
1.Test set-up
2. Testing procedure

3. Interpretation of results
4. Limitations of the test.
1. Test Setup:
A test pit is dug at site up to the depth at which the foundation is proposed to be laid. The width
of the pit should be at least 5 times the width of the test plate. At the centre of the pit a small
square depression or hole is made whose size is equal to the size of the test plate and bottom
level of which corresponds to the level of actual foundation. The depth of the hole should be
such that the ratio of depth to width of the loaded area is approximately the same as the ratio of
the actual depth to width of the foundation.
The mild steel plate (also known as bearing plate) used in the test should not be less than 25
mm in thickness and its size may vary from 300 to 750 mm. The plate could be square or circular
in shape. Circular plate is adopted in case of circular footing and square plate is used in all other
types of footings. The plate is machined on side and edges.
2. Testing Procedure:
The load is applied to the test plate through a centrally placed column. The test load is
transmitted to the column by one of the following two methods
(i) By gravity loading or reaction loading method
(ii) By loading truss method.
(i) Gravity loading or reaction loading method:
In case of gravity loading method, a loading platform is constructed over the column placed on
the test plate and test load is applied by placing dead weight in the form of sand bags, pig iron,
concrete blocks, lead bars etc. on the platform. Many a times a hydraulic jack is placed between
the loading platform and the column top for applying the load to the test plate the reaction of
the hydraulic jack being borne by the loaded platform. This form of loading is termed as reaction
loading.

4. Limitations of plate load test:


The plate load test, though very useful in obtaining necessary information about soil for design
of foundation has following limitations,
(1) The test results reflect only the character of the soil located within a depth of less than twice
the width of bearing plate. Normally the foundations are larger than the test plates, the settlement
and shear resistance of soil against shear failure will depend on the properties of much thickea
stratum. Thus the results of test could be misleading if the character of the soil changes at
shallow depths.
(ii) The Plate Load Test being of short duration, does not give the ultimate settlements
particularly in case of cohesive soils.
(iii) For clayey soils the bearing capacity (from shear consideration) for a large foundation, is
almost same as that for the smaller test plate. But in dense sandy soils the bearing apacity
increases with the size of the foundation and hence the test with smaller size test plate tends to
give conservative values in dense sandy soils.
In view of the above limitations, the plate load test method of determining SBC of soil may be
considered adequate for light or less important structures under normal condition. However, in
case of unusual type of soil stratum and for all heavy and important structures, relevant
laboratory tests or field test are essential to establish the SBC.