Development of a geotechnical design standard for buildings in Canada

Gordon A. Fenton, Pengpeng He, Gennaro Esposito, Reza Rahimi

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Canadians are in the enviable position of having created a world-leading reliability-based geotechnical design code for bridges, namely Section 6 Foundations and Geotechnical Systems of CSA S6:19, Canadian highway bridge design code (CHBDC). Further research is now required to develop similar design provisions for the buildings, where a minimum geotechnical standard is currently lacking in Canada. It is anticipated that such design provisions would be beneficial and could be considered for a future standard.

This report summarizes the findings of a study that investigated target reliability levels for geotechnical systems and the resulting resistance factors required to achieve these reliability targets within a load and resistance factor design (LRFD) framework. The geotechnical problems considered include:

Seismic design of deep foundations;
Seismic and wind loading design of shallow foundations;
Sliding resistance of shallow foundations; and
Sliding and overturning resistance of retaining walls.
This report also summarizes the results of an investigation into direct reliability-based design as an alternative to the LRFD approach.

While most of the unknown resistance factors needed to develop a geotechnical design standard for buildings in Canada are calibrated in this report, areas that require additional research for the calibration of geotechnical resistance factors are identified in the summary.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationToronto, ON
PublisherCanadian Standards Association
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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