Some Lessons From Geotechnical Failures

David Tonks, Coffey Geotechnics UK

Dr David Tonks will discuss a number of recent significant geotechnical ‘failures’, many of which have resulted in substantial damage and cost. Some have ended up in complex and expensive litigation. Examples include construction on very soft ground, with some ongoing consolidation settlements exceeding 2 m, collapse of an arch tunnel structure during construction, movements and collapse of buildings due to piling and adjacent excavations, settlements of large warehouse slabs and landslides and slope failures.

Many of these projects led to quite complex and interesting remedial work and had ramifications for future projects. Some of the learning points are technical and we can consider how knowledge has developed. Many of the lessons relate to the actions and responsibilities of the owners and developers; neighbours and third parties; contractors, consultants and geotechnical advisers.

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