Development of a Cost-Based Design Model for Spread Footings in Cohesive Soils

Muhammad Muneeb Nawaz, Shah Rukh Khan, Rashid Farooq, Muhammad Naqeeb Nawaz, Jamil Khan, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq, Rana Faisal Tufail, Danish Farooq, Anne W.M. Ng

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The use of cost-effective construction design approaches is an emerging concept in the field of sustainable environments. The design of the foundation for the construction of any infrastructure-related building entails three basic requirements, i.e., serviceability limit state (SLS), ultimate limit state (ULS), and economics. Engineering economy coupled with safety are the two main essentials for a successful construction project. The conventional design approaches are based on hit and trial methods to approach cost-effective design. Additionally, safety requirements are prioritized over the economic aspect of foundation design and do not consider safety requirements and cost simultaneously. This study presents a design approach that considers foundation construction costs while satisfying all the technical requirements of a shallow foundation design. This approach is called an optimization process in which the cost-based isolated foundation design charts were developed based on the field SPT N data. The design charts are the first of their kind for the robust design of foundations and can be used to compare the economic impact of different bearing capacity models. Furthermore, the design framework considers the quantitative impact of the different applied factors of safety values in terms of cost. The results show that Vesic’s equation yields higher values of bearing capacities than Terzaghi and Meyerhof. On the other hand, Vesic’s theory offers a 37.5% reduction in cost as compared to the conventional design approach of the foundation for isolated footing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5699
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022


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