Which is more economical to improve or change the soil that is used to build a structure?

my answer is that it depends on each case, but I would like to get more information, or where to search about it.

Thank you.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That is a main subject studied in civil engineering education; can not be addressed in a few paragraphs or a pamphlet. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Feb 2 '19 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Engineering! As blacksmith37 mentioned, this question is far too broad and involves far too many variables to be satisfactorily answered in this site's format. Please feel free to ask another question with a more specific question which can be answered in this format. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Feb 2 '19 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ Smith's Elements of Soil Mechanics, 9th edition, Wiley Blackwell. $\endgroup$ – Rhodie Jun 27 '19 at 10:37

There is many factors leading to the decision of, either improving the existing soil by adding the missing aggregate and mixing and compacting, bringing it to optimal moisture, density and strength. Or it is better to remove it entirely and import good soil and compact it.

These are decisions that can only be answered by a licenced soils engineer, or if the remedy is known to your local building department they usually do a jobsite observation and give you their recommendation.

If they request a soils report then a soils engineer will drill exploratory holes into the ground and take enough samples as he deems needed to take to his lab and run the whole battery of tests on the samples.

Then he will compile a report and recommends on what needs to be done. Sometimes they recommend stabilizing the soils by adding the certain sizes of sand and gravel, sometimes they recommend replacing the bad strata. And sometimes they recommend a mix of both and also drilling deep pylons and building certain retaining walls and concrete or steel soldier piles.

They give detailed specific instructions to modify the soil and design the foundation. and how to maintain the site in the future as far as drainage and surface water control.

  • $\begingroup$ I would have a read of Smith's Soil Mechanics 9th ed. $\endgroup$ – Rhodie Jun 27 '19 at 15:01

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