72804 - Structural Design of Foundation M

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Andrea Benedetti

  • Learning modules Andrea Benedetti (Modulo 1)
    Andrea Benedetti (Modulo 2)

  • Credits 6

  • SSD ICAR/09

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Civil Engineering (cod. 0930)

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course aims at promoting a professional skill for the selection, calculation and design of the foundation structures as elements in interaction with the soil.

The course topics cover a broad range of structural systems with emphasis on the link between the geotechnical data and the design results.

Special attention is given to the realization techniques of the different foundation types and to the experimental verification of the executed works.

Course contents

The course topics are listed below:

Evaluation of the soil limit strength:

  • Models for the plastic analysis of the soil response
  • The analytical solution of Prandtl – Terzaghi – Hill
  • The procedure introduced by the European norms: Eurocodice 7

    Evaluation of the soil settlement for shallow foundations:

  • Models for the elastic analysis of the settlement
  • The Boussinesq solution and the Harr method

    Design of shallow foundations:

  • Design of concrete blocks and footings,
  • The thick slab, the thin slab, the precast slab,
  • The Winkler solution of the beam on elastic soil,
  • Design of beams and grids,
  • The stiffness matrix of the beam on elastic soil,
  • Design of plates on elastic soil
  • Structural details of the shallow foundations

    Design of deep foundations:

  • Pile foundations, execution techniques and pile types,
  • Evaluation of the single pile ultimate load,
  • The Randolph method for the pile stiffness evaluation,
  • Pile groups acted on by vertical loads,
  • Behaviour of piles acted on by transversal forces,
  • Design of pile groups under horizontal forces,
  • Final verification of pile execution and experimental testing of piles,
  • Structural details of slabs and beams on pile systems,
  • Mixed foundation systems, piled rafts,

    Earth retaining structures:

  • Retaining walls, geometry and execution techniques,
  • Limit behaviour of the cantilever and anchored walls,
  • Structural detailing of the retaining walls and the edge beam
  • Limitation of the displacement of the retaining walls,
  • Provisional retaining structures made with sheet piles and micro piles,
  • Earth reinforced soil slopes and compacted soil
  • Gravel filled mesh cushions and gabions
  • Structural detailing of the earth retaining structures,

    Automated methods for the execution of no dig underground distribution lines:

  • microdrilling and microtunneling for the execution of underground pipes
  • tunnels and underground crossing executed by prefabricated element pushing
  • execution of artificial tunnels and protection walls

    Methods for the execution of strengthening works of existing foundations

  • underjacketing of columns and walls,
  • underpinning of columns and walls,
  • soil strengthening by means of jet grouting


The course material is:

  1. text books and lectures,
    • Lancellotta R., “Geotecnica”, Zanichelli, 1993
    • Lancellotta R., Calavera J., “Fondazioni”, McGraw-Hill Italia, 1999
    • Dispense di Tecnica delle Fondazioni
  2. CD including papers, lectures, norms, programs; all the material is freeware and printable and is prepared with PDF format;
  3. Computer codes, MATLAB routines, and other computer resources in order to perform simple numerical analyses of the corse topics.

Teaching methods

In the module particular emphasis will be given to the practical application of the various design and detailing methods; the treatment includes hints for the critical comparison of the factors capable to produce defects and malfunctioning of the foundation systems.

The theoretical part of the course includes links to the soil geotechnics and to the soil structure interaction problems. The students are allowed to use codes and programs for the non linear analysis of the soil structure interaction problem.

The widening of the course themes is promoted by means of the preparation of short theses focused on topics selected by the students on a personal basis; these documents are evaluated in order to define the final examination grade.

The cited topics are the concern for the development of graduation theses, which can be either of design type or analytical – research type.

Assessment methods

The exam is oral and is defined by appointment. The Student has the opportunity of working out a foundation design to be discussed preliminarly in the exam. Some subsequent questions are developed in order to undestand the preparation and the design skills of the candiidate.

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Benedetti