GBA Case History Series – Case History #86 - Dream Home or Nightmare instead?
GBA has published over 100 case histories based on real-life events that have happened to geoprofessional firms. This episode in the series explores Case History #86 where the GBA member firm conducted a geotechnical engineering study and performed COMET services during earthwork for a builder on a single family home in an area where expansive shales are interbedded with sandstone. The member firm advised for slope-stability analyses. Eight months after construction was complete, the foundation started to move, creating distress in the slab and some walls. Remediation attempts were unsuccessful and as a result the project went to litigation.
Carrie Foulk is a senior geotechnical engineer at BSK Associates in Livermore, California. She has been in this business for about 20 years, and is the geotechnical technical lead for the company, as well as the geotechnical group manager in Livermore. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from University of Washington (1996) and a master’s degree in geotechnical engineering from University of California at Berkeley (2002). She is professionally licensed as both a civil engineer and geotechnical engineer in California. She serves as chair of the Geotechnical Business Committee for the GBA and is currently part of the Emerging Leaders Committee. Her career highlights include taking 5 years off when her children were born to be a stay-at-home mom.
Topics for discussion include:
- Case History 86 background. [1:42 min.]
- What is Shale? [1:56 min]
- What are pier foundation? [2:38 min]
- What are spread foundation? [2:54 min]
- The difference between pier foundations with a structural slab and spread foundation? [11:45 min]
- Benefits and drawbacks of a structural slab built on deep pier foundations [12:55 min]
- Imporatnce of soil removal and replacement (overexcavation). [14:40 min]
- Differential settlement and causes. [15:40 min]
- Standard of Care: Statewide vs. Local Standards. [20:04 min]
- Known risk of residential work. [21:25 min]
- Providing clients with multiple solutions - How to emphasize the importance of the foundation decision? [ 23:02 min]
- What went wrong with construction testing? [23:45 min]
- Why did the slope stability become such a big deal when it initially seemed like it was not? [25:25 min]
- Smaller projects do not equate to smaller risks. [26:40 min]
- Download Case History #86: https://www.geoprofessional.org/product/gba-case-history-no-86/
- Visit the following link to access all of GBA’s Case Histories: https://www.geoprofessional.org/gba-case-histories/
- An account is required to download the individual Case Histories, which are free for GBA Member Firms.
- Visit the GBA Website at https://www.geoprofessional.org for other training resources and reference materials and/or to become a member.
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This episode was produced by the following GBA Members:
- Tiffany Vorhies, NACE CIP-2 – Vice President/SME
- Carrie Foulk, PE, GE – Geotechnical Group Manager/Senior Geotechnical Engineer/BSK Associates
- Shawn Leyva, PE – Associate Senior Engineer/Crawford & Associates
- Ryan White, PE, GE – Principal Geotechnical Engineer/PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc.