Tel: 1-206-279-3300

Last Chance 60 hours

Data, databases, and Machine Learning for Geotechnical Engineers

Data, databases, and machine learning for civil engineers

Starts Sep 23rd

The future of civil engineering is approaching

Online Deep Excavation and Soil nail wall design Workshop

16 PDH

Nov 18-19, 2020

Deep excavation in Las Vegas

Early registration ends soon!

DeepEX 2020

Solving Deep Excavation Design

DeepEX 2017 talk to it and design your deep excavation!

Online Slope Stability, Soil Nailing, and Inclinometer Monitoring Workshop

4 hours each day, 8 PDH

Slope stability, soil nailing, and inclinometer worksho

July 15, 16, 2020

Deep Foundation Software, Pile Rafts, Pile Groups

From soil estimation to axial and lateral pile capacity

DeepFND - Deep Foundation Software, caissons, CFA, drilled piles, driven piles, concrete, timber

From soil estimation to helical pile settlement estimation.

New helical pile software HelixPile
Signup for a free trial and get our free pdf on the five most common errors in deep excavation design
What do you want to design?
DeepFND 2020: Deep Foundation software (NEW: Pile-Group/Pile Raft Analysis!)
DeepEX 2020: Deep Excavation software
Soldier pile walls
Sheet pile walls
Secant pile Walls
Tangent piles
Diaphragm Walls
Soldier and Tremied Concrete
Soil Mix walls
Combined king pile sheet piles
Slope stability
Cost estimation for braced excavations
Waler-Strut Cofferdams
Snail-Plus 2019: Soil nailing - soil nailing walls
SiteMaster: Inclinometer software (adopted by Geokon)
HelixPile: Helical Pile Software
RC-Solver: Concrete Design ACI-318, EC2, EC8
Steel-Beam: Steel beam column design, full equations, AISC, EC3

Foundation engineering refers to the engineering discipline that designs how a structure that transfers loads to the earth. Foundations are generally divided into two categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations. Foundation engineering requires careful consideration of many factors that can influence the behavior of the structure.


Shallow Foundations

Shallow foundations are, usually, embedded from one to two meters beneath the final finish elevation. Spread footings are one of the most common types of shallow foundations. Spread footings consist of strips or pads of concrete (or other materials) which extend below the frost line and transfer the building loads to the underlying soil or rock. Another type of shallow footing is the slab-on-grade footing where the building loads are transferred to the soil through a concrete slab placed at the surface. Shallow foundations mainly work by distributing loads on a greater area where the contact pressure is limited within acceptable limits.


Deep Foundations

A deep footing is an engineered structure used to transfer load from a structure to stronger deeper soil layers or bedrock. Different types of deep foundations include driven piles, drilled piles, drilled shafts, caissons, piers, earth stabilized columns, and helical piles. Historically, timber piles were amongst the first used. Today most piles are constructed with steel , reinforced concrete, or pre-tensioned concrete.



Footings must be designed to have an adequate load capacity with limited settlement by a geotechnical engineer, while the structural design is performed in collaboration with a structural engineer.

The primary design concerns are total and differential settlements, and bearing capacity. Differential settlement refers to conditions is when significantly different settlements are experienced in different parts of the foundation. Excessive differential settlement can cause severe cracking problems to the supported structure. It is necessary that a foundation is not loaded beyond its bearing capacity otherwise the foundation will "fail".


Other design considerations include scour and frost heave. Scour is when flowing water removes supporting soil from around a footing (like a pier supporting a bridge over a river), while frost heave occurs when water in the ground freezes which causes the ground to expand (and collapse when the ground thaws).

Foundation design should be carried out by highly-qualified licensed engineers.

Engineers must be well-trained and experience with the local conditions and need to balance with the needs of safety and economy.


Our staff has provided foundation design services in many countries throughout the world.


Please contact us for more information at: