Thursday, 28 March 2019


At the XVI Danube European Conference (Skopje Macedonia, June 2018), the question was raised “Are we overdesigning?”. Although the question originated from the Asian Region, it is valid internationally where different countries and users of various testing techniques or design codes tend to follow local practice for geotechnical design.

Alternatively you can For this reason a survey has been prepared to assess the consistency of calculation models and design methods for a variety of geotechnical structures and, where possible, to compare the results with full-scale tests and reliability analyses has been prepared as per the outline provided below:


  1. The survey is based on two soil profiles, one in clay and the other in sand. Soil test results, typical of those one would find in a geotechnical investigation report, are provided for each soil profile. The soil properties for the clay and sand profiles are given in Annexes A and B respectively. Excel spreadsheets are also provided with numerical data.
  2. Ten specimen problems have been proposed, namely concentrically and eccentrically loaded spread footings, axially and laterally loaded piles, slopes and retaining structures (see Annex C). The idea is to keep the problems easy to analyse and representative of every-day geotechnical structures.
  3. Some problems require the prediction of performance of the geotechnical structure (prediction problems) while others call for the design of the structure as it would be constructed (design problems). The prediction problems are aimed assessing the selection of parameters and calculation models. The design problems are aimed at assessing the provisions made for safety and serviceability in geotechnical structures.
You do not need to analyse all ten problems, although it would be appreciated if you did. Please feel free to submit responses for only problems that are typical of the work you do on a day-to-day basis.

For the full survey document and problem specifications click on the following link to download the pdf.#mce_temp_url#

The two spreadsheets containing soils information for the survey can be downloaded using the links below

1. Sand

2. Clay

Alternatively, you can also visit the ISSMGE website( to download the relevant documentation.
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