Foundations for Tall and Heavy Buildings

Design Issues, Problems and Solutions

Prof Harry Poulos

The main issues to be considered in the design of foundations for buildings, especially tall or heavy buildings, will be outlined, and procedures that can be adopted to address these issues will be discussed. Examples of the application of these procedures to some prominent tall buildings will be presented. Despite the evolution of modern techniques of ground investigation and foundation design, there have been cases in which problems have occurred and the performance of the supported building has been compromised. Some of these cases will be discussed, and possible reasons for the problems experienced are set out. Some methods of rectification of inadequate foundations, and risks associated with these methods, are then presented.

About the speaker

Prof Harry Poulos Senior Consultant, Tetra Tech Coffey

Harry Poulos joined the Department of Civil Engineering at Sydney University in 1965, and was appointed a Professor in 1982, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. In 1989, he joined Coffey Partners International, and is currently a Senior Consultant with Coffey. He is also an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney and an Adjunct Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has been involved in a large number of high-rise and infrastructure projects in Australia and overseas, including the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Creek Tower in Dubai, and the 720 km Egnatia Odos motorway in Greece. In 2010, he was elected a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and in 2014, he was inducted into the US National Academy of Engineering. In 2017, he was awarded the Outstanding Leaders and Projects (OPAL) Award for lifetime achievement in design by ASCE, and in 2020 was awarded the Peter Nicol Russell Memorial Medal by Engineers Australia.

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