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Structure Magazine Questions

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. > Q:    What criteria should be followed in deciding if the settlement of a 
. > footing is structural failure? That is, how much settlement can occur 
. > before it should be considered a structural failure?

A:    It depends on whether the framing is simple or, if moment resisting, if 
it was designed for differential settlement.  Very little differential 
settlement in a continuous beam or moment frame will create tremendous 
moments.  If the moments due to settlement and design loading exceed code 
requirements, it should be considered as having failed.  Likewise, if the 
settlement prevents the structure from functioning in the manner intended, it 
should be considered as having failed.

A. Roger Turk, P.E.(Structural)
Tucson, Arizona