Review foundation designs, assess construction challenges, and analyze failures with an integrated, multidisciplinary approach
Exponent has extensive experience evaluating the performance of foundation systems — structural elements that support a building or structure and connect it to the ground. Our engineers draw on decades of consulting in the areas of geology and geotechnical, structural, and materials engineering, enabling us to provide a multidisciplinary approach for foundation design review, assessment of foundation construction challenges, and analysis of foundation failure.
Foundations can generally be classified into two broad categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations
Shallow foundations transfer structural loads to near-surface soils and are typically used for small- to medium-sized structures when near-surface soil conditions are adequate. They are occasionally used for large structures when the near-surface ground conditions are particularly favorable, such as the presence of shallow bedrock, and they can be used where unfavorable near-surface soil conditions have been modified by ground improvement techniques, such as with removal and recompaction, stone columns, compaction grouting, soil mixing, and/or soil surcharging.
Deep foundations transfer some of a structure's entire load to deeper soils and are considerably more expensive and complex than shallow foundation systems. Because the bearing capacity of soil often increases with depth, deep foundations generally possess higher structural load capacities relative to shallow foundations. Deep foundations are typically used when encountering adverse near-surface soil conditions (i.e., soft clays, collapsible soils, and/or expansive soils), and when structural load requirements are large enough to warrant the additional cost of deep foundations, or when a high lateral load capacity is needed.
For 50+ years, we’ve thrived on solving unstructured problems that require bespoke solutions. Some of our services include:
• Emergency response to imminent foundation failure
• Root cause analysis of the causes of foundation, settlement, lateral movement, or cracking
• Analysis of the nature and extent of damage to real property from foundation system failure
• Evaluation of differing site condition claims arising from construction of foundations
• Cost analysis, delay impacts, and acceleration evaluation for construction projects involving deep foundations
• Analysis and field evaluation of foundation performance during earthquakes
• Analysis and field evaluation of foundation performance as a result of adjacent construction, e.g., excavations near an existing foundation
• Evaluation of moisture intrusion problems through building foundations
• Analyses of causes of damage and repairs for foundations on expansive soils and bedrock, collapsible soils, highly compressible soils, and other difficult ground conditions
• Field investigation of foundations and evaluation of field test data (e.g., vertical and lateral load tests of deep foundation elements, pile driving records, pile test data)
• Evaluation of problems with the properties, placement, and performance of concrete used to construct foundations
Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled
With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.
Decades of experience addressing the multitude of complex challenges that can arise when earth and engineering meet.
Design & Construction Consulting
Extensive civil engineering expertise to empower decision-making and help reduce design and construction risks and failures.
External Hazards: Risk Assessment & Mitigation
Accurate assessment, mitigation, and remediation support for external hazards and natural disasters.
Mining & Forestry
Scientific and engineering expertise to help achieve safe, reliable, sustainable production.
Remote Sensing Analysis
Improve site understanding with remote sensing and geospatial analytics, including GIS.
Our global and comprehensive expertise across industries gives us a deep understanding of current challenges, best industry practices, and the implications of emerging technologies.
Corporate Vice President and Principal Engineer
Practice Director and Principal