Evaluation of Suitability of Expensive Soils for Safe Building Foundation: A Case Study of Tulu Bolo Town, Central Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa Universty


Expansive soils in many parts of Ethiopia pose significant damages to foundation for light buildings including the study area, Tulu bolo town. Therefore, identification of the location and area extent of these expansive soils and evaluation of them is a paramount importance to mitigate this problem. This particular study was intended to address the major problem of Tulu Bolo town with objective of evaluating the factors for the suitability of expansive soils for safe building foundation design in Tulu bolo town. In order to achieve the objectives of the present study a systematic methodology has been adopted, such as; Literature reviewing, physical observation on the performance of the buildings foundation and associated problems and Laboratory analysis of soil samples. The laboratory analysis for evaluating of expansiveness of soils consists of Grain size distribution and soil type analysis, Atterberg limit analysis, shrinking and swelling analysis and Consolidation test. Average Atterberg limit of all the samples indicates that the values are very high and the soil is very expansive. It is possible to generalize that based on the Atterberg limit all the study area, the town Tulu bolo is located on very expansive soils. Like the Atterber limits value the swelling and shrinking values of the soil sampled showed nearly equal value but found to be very expansive which could cause big cracks. In addition with the expansiveness of the soils the consolidation test for settlement analysis indicates that the soils are very poor for foundation because of high clay content. The spatial variation of the soils in the study area is insignificant and it makes difficult to select the best sight for foundation of buildings. However even for this insignificant variation it was possible to put rank of suitability (Degree of expansiveness) in the study area. Therefore soil sample one is relatively better than the others. When buildings are constructed over expansive soils there are conditions to be considered for safe foundation. This study recommended that any building constructed in the town should be based on causations described in the recommendation part of this paper in order to prevent huge loss of money from construction of buildings. Key words: Expansive Soils, Buildings’ Foundation, Cracks of buildings, Atterberg limits, Soil Consolidation and Tulu Bolo



Expansive Soils, Buildings’ Foundation, Cracks of buildings, Atterberg limits, Soil Consolidation and Tulu Bolo