Academic Year 2021/2022 - 1° Year
Teaching Staff: Glenda ABATE and Maria Rossella MASSIMINO
Credit Value: 9
Scientific field: ICAR/07 - Geotechnics
Taught classes: 39 hours
Exercise: 52 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide basic and advanced knowledge on the behaviour of all types of foundations to achieve a complete static and dynamic design of these structural elements. Ample space is also dedicated to the main in situ tests for the preliminary and essential geotechnical characterization of the foundation soil; soil-foundation-structure interaction to optimize the anti-seismic design of foundations and overlying structures; to innovative eco-sustainable techniques.

Course Structure

Frontal lessons through PowerPoint presentations. Seminars in collaboration with geotechnical companies and/or engineers, teachers from other national and international universities. Exercises in the classroom. Design of a pile foundation or a mixed foundation to be carried out individually and reviewed by the teacher and/or her co-workers.

A technical visit to a construction site in Sicily is planned to increase the student's knowledge of the topics discussed in the classroom and bring the student closer to the world of work and practice.

Suppose the teaching is given in a mixed or remote way. In that case, the necessary changes may be introduced to the previously stated program envisaged and reported in the syllabus.

Detailed Course Content

1. GEOTECHNICAL INVESTIGATIONS: Introduction: Extension of investigations, the purpose of investigations, programming of investigations. Surveys and sampling: accessible excavations, boreholes, sampling, sampler characteristics. In-situ tests: CPT and CPTU tests, SPT tests, vane tests, static and dynamic Dilatometer tests, pressure tests, SASW, MASW, monitoring of foundation displacements. Empirical correlations: main empirical correlations between the results of in-situ tests and geotechnical parameters.

2. SHALLOW FOUNDATIONS: Types of foundations: Introduction (definition of shallow foundation, choice of laying plan, partially or totally compensated shallow foundations, new foundations for existing buildings). Foundations on plinth (isolated or with connecting beams). Foundations on beams or rafts. Bearing capacity of soil-foundation systems: Failure mechanisms (general failure, local failure, punching failure). Simplified scheme (factors affecting bearing capacity and depth of the failure surface). Methods for calculating the bearing capacity: Terzaghi solution (1943), Brinch-Hansen solution (1970) for incoherent and cohesive soil, Richard et al. solution (1993), Paolucci and Pecker solution (1997). Formulations for non-general failure mechanisms. The bearing capacity for foundations on stratified soil. Methods for calculating earth-induced stresses. Settlements: Introduction (absolute settlements, differential settlements, rigid rotation, relative rotation, angular deformations, inflection, curvature, effects of foundation settlements on structures, depth of Influence for the evaluation of foundation settlements). Calculation Methods for non-cohesive soils (Theory of Elasticity, Burland and Burbidge Method (1985), Schmertmann Method (1970), Berardi and Lancellotta Method (1991). Calculation Methods for cohesive soils: the elastic settlement and the primary consolidation settlement according to the Skempton and Bjerrum Method (1957); secondary consolidation settlements. Settlements due to seismic events or vibro-pile constructions; settlements due to excavations. Allowable settlements (geotechnical literature, Guidelines of EC1 and EC7, Italian technical regulations, methods to reduce distortions in foundation). Italian and European technical regulations for geotechnical and structural design of shallow foundations..

3. FOUNDATIONS WITH PILES: Vertically loaded piles: Execution types. Limit load (lateral resistance, end resistance, correlation with in-situ test results, dynamic formulas). Settlements (Poulos & Davis (1980) method; simplified nonlinear approach. Pile group (bound effect, group effect, bearing capacity, and settlements of a pile group). Negative friction (physical phenomena, modelling). Vertical load tests and non-destructive testing (test equipment, execution mode, instrumentation, interpretation of results; non-destructive controls). Piles subject to horizontal forces: General considerations. Failure mechanisms and limit “load” (Broms method, 1964). SLE (Matlock and Reese method, 1960; transfer functions’ method). Horizontal load tests (test equipment, execution mode, instrumentation, interpretation of results). Mixed foundations. Italian and European regulations for geotechnical and structural design of pile foundations and mixed foundations (NTC, 2018, Eurocodes 1, 7, and 8).

4. SOIL-STRUCTURE INTERACTION (SSI): Soil-foundation interaction: General (Eurocode 7, Eurocode 8, Italian law, plastic hinges, choice of building ground model). SSI with shallow foundations (static conditions: Winkler method. Dynamic conditions: shaking table tests, Impedance method, numerical modelling). SSI with pile foundations (kinematic interaction and inertial interaction, pseudo-static analysis, dynamic analysis, numerical modelling). Soil-foundation-superstructure interaction: including shallow foundations (limit situation method, equivalent stiffness method, impedance approach, numerical modelling). including pile foundations (soil-pile-raft- superstructure interaction).

5. INNOVATIVE AND GREEN TECHNOLOGIES: geothermal energy piles; soil-waste material mixtures to reduce the seismic risk of structures/infrastructures.

Textbook Information

1. R. Lancellotta: “Geotecnica”, Quarta Edizione, Zanichelli, Bologna 2012.

2. R. Lancellotta, J. Calavera: "Fondazioni", McGraw-Hill, Milano 2016.

3. M.G. Poulos, E.H. Davis: “Analisi e progettazione di fondazioni su pali”, Flaccovio
Editore, Seconda ristampa, 2005.

4. C. Viggiani: “Fondazioni”, Hevelius, Napoli 1999.

5. R. Lancellotta, Costanzo D., Foti S. "Progettazione geotecnica", Hoepli, 2011.

6. Other teaching material: Scientific papers and other materials, including the PowerPoint presentations of all the lessons, will be given to the students by means of the Catania University website.