Design enhancement and prefabrication of raft footings on clayey ground susceptible to reactive soil damage
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusThis item is embargoed and will be available on 2023-01-22.
© 2020 Bertrand Teodosio
The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is currently facing several challenges. A failure to keep pace with technological advancements had led to non-optimal structural performance, inefficient construction process, and unsustainable consumption of raw materials. This failure to adapt to new technology precipitates an intensifying "housing crisis" being experienced in most developed and developing cities, attributed to an increase in housing demand and skilled labour shortage. Furthermore, the increasing occurrence of extreme weather events, natural disasters and unexpected situations necessitate expeditious post-disaster and temporary accommodations. Prefabricated construction has been considered as a potential solution to the challenges being faced by the AEC sector. However, the full potential of prefabricated construction is yet to be realised in part due to most developments being focused on its superstructure. Lightweight structures with shallow footings, such as single-detached dwellings, are particularly susceptible to damage caused by the shrink-swell movement of reactive soils, causing a significant global financial loss for the repair cost. Due to the lack of innovation in footing systems of lightweight structures and detrimental effects inflicted by the shrink-swell ground movement, the overarching aim of this research is to develop a prefabricated footing system on clayey foundations susceptible to damage induced by the shrink-swell movement of reactive soils, using an enhanced design method. To enhance the design method, an advanced yet practical three-dimensional coupled hydro-mechanical finite element model was developed to perform parametric simulations. This investigated the relationship between reactive soil movements and footing system deformation, which led to a deeper understanding of its soil-structure interaction and an improved design guideline. To develop the prefabricated footing design, a combined novel approach was introduced using soil-structure interaction analysis, topology optimisation and strut-and-tie model to design a connection. The prefabricated system had satisfactory structural performance based on numerical simulations that can potentially overcome most construction and performance limitations of conventional monolithic cast-in-situ footings.
Keywordsprefabricated construction; reactive soil; shrink-swell soils; stiffened rafts; waffle pod rafts; numerical analysis; finite element method; hydro-mechanical model; topology optimisation; soil-structure interaction; strut-and-tie model; modular coordination; concrete cracks; residential slab; footings; structural
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