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Re: Have you heard of watering your foundation?

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Dry over consolidated, dessicated, unsaturated soils which are yet another names of the Expansive/Swelling Soils do need to be tamed; one way is by keeping the moisture balance in such soils beneath or around foundations. This is achieved sometimes by watering, in a trickilng fashion, the soils per se.

But, if you have designed your foundations to be stiff/rigid enough to resist heaving (due to swelling of soils beneath foundations) you probably don't need to do that.

Here in Saudi Arabia, some parts of the country also have expansive soils. In one of our projects in HOFUF, the eastern part of the Kingdom, we have used the B.R.A.B design manual (I developed a spread sheet using the B.R.A.B design sequence logic) to design & build the Stiffened Slab Waffle Foundation for as many as 56 nos. of facilities out of a total 228 facilities. Such foundation systems have seen through as many as six rainy seasons and are doing fine so far. Iam told (and also as I have confirmed by browsing through various literatures/references on the subject) Saudi Arabia (reference to this particular project) is probably only the third country in the world, after USA & Australia, where Stiffened Slab Waffle Foubndation System (using principles of B.R.A.B manual) has been used to exclusively address the Expansive Soils problem beneath the foundations. Is this correct or we have examples of some more countries around the world employing Stiffened Slab Waffle Foundation System  (using B.R.A.B) for the same purpose? 

Any input on the same would be appreciated. Regards,

Syed faiz Ahmad; MEngg, M.ASCE

Senior Structural Engineer

Saudi Oger Ltd,

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

>From: "Trobridge, Bruce"
>To: "'seaint(--nospam--at)'"
>Subject: Have you heard of watering your foundation?
>Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 11:46:43 -0500
>I was asked this question by my brother who is building a house in the
>Dallas area. I am a structural engineer in New York state and my response
>was- What? Why? I have not heard of this practice and neither has anyone I
>work with. The people he has spoken to (who are not engineers) say that if
>you don't water the concrete it somehow loses strength and cracks. The only
>thing I can figure is that the clay soil there has not been preconsolidated
>by glaciers as it has here and the moisture is kept up to prevent
>consolidation and settlement of the house. Am I on the right track?
>Bruce C. Trobridge PE
>Senior Building Structural Engineer
>NYS - Office of General Services
>(518) 486-1749

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