What Is Structural Settlement | Causes For Structural Settlement | What Is Soil Settlement & Foundation Structural Settlement (2023)

What Is Structural Settlement | Causes For Structural Settlement | What Is Soil Settlement & Foundation Structural Settlement (1)

Important Point

What Is Structural Settlement?

The term Structural Settlement is defined as the vertical displacement of the base of a structure, or of the surface of a road or embankment due to the compression and deformation of the underlying soil.

When the weight of every structure compresses and deforms the underlying soil, the Structural Settlement is irrelevant because the stresses in the framework of a structure are not altered.

On the other hand, if the weight of structure causes differential Structural Settlement, the entire structural framework is subjected to an unacceptable increase in stresses distorting the framing system, eventually resulting in the collapse of the structure.

Because of the complexity of the geotechnical properties of soil and the disturbing influence of stratification, the Structural Settlement of buildings can be accurately predicted only under exceptional conditions.

Nevertheless, a theoretical analysis of Structural Settlement phenomena is indispensable because the results permit the engineer at least to recognize the factors that determine the magnitude and distribution of the Structural Settlement.

Knowledge of these factors constitutes the prerequisite for converting construction experience into semi-empirical rules for the design of foundations.

Also, read:Piling for Foundation | Use of Pile Foundation | Characteristics of Pile Foundation

Causes For Structural Settlement?

The Structural Settlement may be caused due to the following facts:

(Video) Reasons of Settlement in Foundation?Types of Settlemenr | why Cracks Provided in House Construction?

  1. Static loads such as those imposed by the weight of a structure or an embankment.
  2. Moving loads such as heavy traffic vehicles are transmitted through a road or airfield pavement.
  3. Changes in moisture content, which may arise from natural causes such as seasonal fluctuation in the water table or the abstraction of water by roots of large trees. Nearby excavation, pile driving, pumping or drainage may also have an important effect in Structural Settlement of the foundation.
  4. Undermining due to mining operations, tunneling, or underground erosion.

What Is Soil Settlement?

What Is Structural Settlement | Causes For Structural Settlement | What Is Soil Settlement & Foundation Structural Settlement (2)

Define Settlement: The settlement of soils in response to loading may be broadly divided into two types: elastic settlement and time-dependent settlement.

Elastic settlements are a simplest to deal with; they are recoverable, instantaneous, and may be calculated from linear elastic theory.

Time-dependent settlements occur in both cohesive and granular soils, although the response time for granular soils is usually short.

In addition to being time-dependent, their response to loading is nonlinear, and deformations are only partially recoverable. In clays, two types of time-dependent settlements are recognized.

Primary consolidation results from the squeezing out of the water from the soil voids under the influence of excess pore-water pressures generated by the applied loading.

This can take place over many months or years in clays but is usually quick in sands and gravels due to their greater permeability.

Secondary compression in clays and creep in sands occur essentially after all the excess pore pressures have been dissipated, that is after primary consolidation is substantially complete, but the mechanisms involved are not fully understood.

Settlements of granular soils, both elastic and creep movements, are more difficult to predict with any accuracy, largely because of the difficulty of obtaining and testing undisturbed soil samples, and settlements are usually estimated by indirect methods. Alternatively, plate bearing tests may be used, but their results are difficult to interpret.

Also, read:What Is Raft Foundation | Type of Footing | Detail of Raft Footing

What Is Foundation Structural Settlement?

What Is Structural Settlement | Causes For Structural Settlement | What Is Soil Settlement & Foundation Structural Settlement (3)

The vertical downward displacements at the ground surface or the vertical downward displacement of a structure are often called Structural Settlement.

(Video) Differential Settlement. - Its Causes and How to Prevent it

It is usually caused by direct application of structural loads on the foundation, which in turn causes compression of the supporting material (soil or rock).

However, in addition to the Structural Settlement under loads, foundation settlement may also occur due to some or a combination of other causes, as follows:

Differential foundation settlement

1. Seasonal swelling and shrinking of expansive soils this team differential settlement.

2. Groundwater lowering or a falling groundwater table. Prolonged lowering of water level in fine-grained soils may introduce Structural Settlement due to consolidation.

Repeated lowering also rising of water level in loose granular soils tend to compact the soil and cause Structural Settlement.

Pumping water or draining water by pipes or tiles from granular soils without adequate filter material as protection can in a period of time wash and carry a sufficient amount of fine particles away from the soil and cause Structural Settlement.

3. Underground erosion. It may cause the formation of cavities in the subsoil, which when collapse Structural Settlement occurs.

4. Changes in the vicinity. If there are changes adjacent to the property such as recently placed fill, excavation, construction of a new structure, underground tunneling or mining, and so on, settlement may occur due to an increase in the stresses.

5. Vibrations and shocks. Vibrations due to pile driving or oscillating machinery, as well as shocks due to blasting or earthquake cause settlements, especially in granular soils.

6. Ground movement on earth slopes. If surface erosion, slow creep, or landslides occur, there may be settlement problems.

Theoretically, no damage is done to a superstructure if the foundations settle uniformly. However, Structural Settlement exceeding a certain limit may cause trouble in utilities such as water pipelines, sewers, telephone lines, also trouble in the surface drainage configuration and in access from streets.

Sometimes buildings must join existing structures, and it is required that floors of the two buildings be at the same level.

(Video) Foundation Settlement। Lecture 7। Contact Pressure। Settlement Distribution।Flexible & Rigid Footing

If the new building settles excessively, the floors will no longer remain at the same level, causing serious serviceability problems in addition to all these.

Also, read:Difference Between Footing and Foundation | What is Footing and Foundation

Types of Foundation Structural Settlement

The Structural Settlement caused by the compressive loading of foundation base on the supporting soil may be divided into two kinds described as follows:

1.Immediate Structural Settlement:

The immediate Structural Settlement is a combination of elastic compression and plastic deformation, without a change in volume or water content, as shown in as below fig.

This type of Structural Settlement develops as the construction proceeds.

What Is Structural Settlement | Causes For Structural Settlement | What Is Soil Settlement & Foundation Structural Settlement (4)

2. Structural Settlement due to consolidation:

This is the result of the decrease in the volume of loaded soil caused by the gradual expulsion of water from the voids. In clay soils, such Structural Settlement develops very slowly but may attain considerable magnitude in the course of the settlement.

A Structural Settlement is seldom uniform over the area occupied by the foundation of a large building because of the non-uniformity of pressure distribution in the soil as well as variations in the compressibility at different parts of the area occupied by the foundations.

Consolidation sometimes takes place in a compressible stratum situated at a considerable depth, although the soil immediately below the foundation is relatively firm and may result in Structural Settlement of the foundation.

In cohesionless soil consolidation or compaction takes place relatively quickly, and cannot be easily separated from the ‘immediate’ Structural Settlement as defined before.

Methods of Predicting Structural Settlement

1. For the immediate Structural Settlement of structures:

The elastic theory may be used. Loading tests to provide useful information regarding an immediate Structural Settlement.

2. For long-term consolidation Structural Settlement:

On clay soils, the most reliable method is that based on compressive tests on undisturbed samples and application of the theory of consolidation.

(Video) Fundamentals of Geotechnical Engineering- Consolidation Settlement [Tagalog]

Short Note

Structural Settlement

Astructured settlementis a negotiated financial or insurance arrangement through which a claimant agrees to resolve a personal injury tort claim by receiving part or all of asettlement in the form of periodic payments on an agreed schedule, rather than as a lump sum.

Soil Settlement

Settlementis the downward movement of the ground (soil) when a load is applied to it. The load increases the vertical effective stress exerted onto thesoil. This stress, in turn, increases the vertical strain in thesoil. This increase in vertical strain causes the ground to move downward.

Foundation Settlement

Foundation settlementhappens when soil moves beneath the home. As the soil moves, air pockets, or voids, form. Those voids cannot support the heavy weight of yourfoundationwalls, and thus the walls themselves will start to crack and shift downward—orsettle—into those void.

Foundation Structure

Astructural foundationis the part of a building that fixes it into the soil. Thesestructuresprovide support for the mainstructuresthat appear above the soil level, much like the roots of a tree support the stem. One of its functions is to transfer loads from thestructure to the ground.

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What is the definition of settlement of soil? ›

In geotechnical engineering, settlement is defined as the downward vertical movement of the ground or soil due to changes in stresses within it, often caused by the settlement load on the surface.

What is structure of settlement? ›

Definition. Settlement structure is the quantitative and qualitative pattern of distribution of housing, places of work, and infrastructure within a certain area.

What is the settlement of foundation on clay soil? ›

The maximum permissible settlement as per IS-1904(1966) for isolated foundations are 40mm on sandy soil and 65mm in clayey soils. The permissible settlement for the raft foundation on clay soil is 65-100 mm and for sandy soil, it is 65 mm. Differential settlement: Foundation on clay soil = 40 mm.

What are the two types of foundation settlement? ›

There are two types of foundation settlement: uniform settlement and differential settlement.

What is a settlement in foundation? ›

Foundation settlement refers to the downward movement or the sinking of the base of a structure. This happens mostly when the underlying soil is shifty or expansive. In both situations, the soil is unable to hold up your home and all its contents.

What are 4 types of settlement? ›

The four main types of settlements are urban, rural, compact, and dispersed. Urban settlements are densely populated and are mostly non-agricultural. They are known as cities or metropolises and are the most populated type of settlement.

What are the 4 main types of structures? ›

There are four types of structures;
  • Frame: made of separate members (usually thin pieces) put together.
  • Shell: encloses or contains its contents.
  • Solid (mass): made almost entirely of matter.
  • liquid (fluid): braking fluid making the brakes.

What are the three types of settlement? ›

Settlement Types

There are generally three types of settlements: compact, semi-compact, and dispersed. Each is based on its population density. Compact settlements have the highest density of population.

What are the causes of settlement of foundation? ›

In this article, we are going to identify various causes of foundation settlement, including:
  • Drought.
  • Maturing Trees.
  • Poor Drainage.
  • Busted Pipes & Leaking Water Lines.
  • Poorly Compacted Soil.
  • Weak Bearing Soil.
  • Moisture Content Changes.
  • Soil Consolidation.
Oct 18, 2017

What are the different types of settlement in soil? ›

The total settlement of the ground consists of 3 components: immediate settlement (commonly referred to as elastic settlement, although this is a misnomer), consolidation settlement (or primary settlement) and creep settlement (or secondary settlement).

Is clay Good for foundations? ›

Clay. Clay is not an ideal soil for buildings due to its tendency to shift around as it dries or moistens. This can cause cracks or fissures in the building and result in uneven floors. Clay soil foundation depths are generally deeper to increase stability.

What is an example of foundation settlement? ›

Foundations on bedrock settle a negligible amount. In contrary, Foundations in other types of soil such as clay may settle much more. An example of this is Mexico City palace of fine arts has settled more than 15 feet (4.5m) into the clay soil on which it is founded since it was constructed in the early 1930s.

What is the cause of soil settlement? ›

Moisture-Filled Soil

When the foundation's soil is saturated with water, it can easily result in settlement. Moisture from heavy rain, flooding, a plumbing leak, or a raised groundwater table can oversaturate the soil and potentially weaken its load-bearing capacity.

What happens when the foundation settles? ›

Over time, the broken sections of the foundation will begin to drift, causing cracks to widen and become uneven. The damage will never stop -- and will worsen over time. Foundation settlement typically occurs when soil compresses (settles), shrinks, or becomes too wet to support a home.

What is normal foundation settlement? ›

How much foundation settlement is too much? The industry standard is 1 inch of differential settlement in 20 feet. Anything greater than this can be considered too much.

What are the 5 different functions of settlement? ›

Settlement functions can be grouped into a number of categories, such as residential, recreational, retail, government, entertainment and industrial.

What is settlement short answer? ›

A settlement is a colony or any small community of people. If a bunch of people build houses on the moon together, they'll have the first lunar settlement. A settlement is also the resolution of something such as a lawsuit. One kind of settlement is a place where people live.

What is the definition of settlement '? ›

an official agreement or decision that ends an argument, often involving a payment of money: negotiate/reach a settlement.

What are the 3 main types of structures? ›

There are three basic types of structures: shell structures, frame structures and solid structures. But some structures are a combination.

What are examples of a structure? ›

Buildings, aircraft, skeletons, anthills, beaver dams, bridges and salt domes are all examples of load-bearing structures. The results of construction are divided into buildings and non-building structures, and make up the infrastructure of a human society.

What are the 4 types of rural settlements? ›

Classfication of Settlements
  • 1) Farmstead - single farm with various outbuildings. ...
  • 2) Rural Hamlet - loose grouping of a few farmsteads. ...
  • 3) Village - denser grouping of farmsteads. ...
  • 4) Town - A densely populated urban area. ...
  • 5) City - Wide range of functions including headquarters of a region's administration.

What is a settlement quizlet? ›

What is a settlement? A place where people live. order of the hierarchy settlement (larger population to low) -capital city. -conurbation.

What are the classification of settlement? ›

There are 5 types of settlement classified according to their pattern, these are, isolated, dispersed, nucleated, and linear. An isolated settlement consists of a single farm or house very remote from any other one, usually found in farming or hunting rural communities.

What causes foundation problems? ›

Foundation problems are primarily caused by fluctuating moisture in the soil surrounding the slab. While trees and plants improve your home's curb appeal some have extensive root systems that require large amounts of moisture.

How do you find the settlement of soil? ›

Therefore, to determine the settlements, it is necessary to know: the course of vertical stresses σz with depth. The settlement-generating base stress σ1 = σ0 - γ • h must be used, taking into consideration the stress reduction by the excavation unloading for the embedment depth of the foundations.

What causes the most damage to structural foundations? ›

Soil movement beneath a home's foundation is the leading cause of structural damages. There are two types of soil movement that damages homes: heave from expansive soils and settlement from consideration of fill or native soils.

What are 3 settlement factors? ›

Rural Settlements are influenced by three factors namely physical factors, ethnic and cultural factors, and historical or defensive factors.

What is a settlement explain any 2 types of settlements? ›

Rural settlements in India can broadly be put into four types: • Clustered, agglomerated or nucleated, • Semi-clustered or fragmented, • Hamleted, and • Dispersed or isolated.

What are the three types of soil movement? ›

Suspension, saltation, and surface creep are the three types of soil movement or transport which occur during wind erosion. While soil can be blown away at virtually any height, the majority (over 93%) of soil movement/transportation takes place at or within one meter height from land surface.

What is type of foundation? ›

In general, all foundations are divided into two categories, - shallow and deep foundations. The terms Shallow and Deep Foundation refer to the depth of the soil at which it is placed. Generally, if the width of the foundation is greater than the depth, it is labeled as the “Shallow Foundation”.

What is the importance of soil foundation? ›

Access to good soil is very important for building a modern infrastructure. Soil is directly used to make building materials, such as cement and brick, as well as indirectly used to grow the plants used to make building materials such as wood boards and insulation fibers.

What are the uses of foundation? ›

Foundation is a liquid, cream, or powder makeup applied to the face and neck to create an even, uniform color to the complexion, cover flaws and, sometimes, to change the natural skin tone. Some foundations also function as a moisturizer, sunscreen, astringent or base layer for more complex cosmetics.

What is the best house foundation? ›

Slab – The Most Popular Foundation Type

Your builder may need to do just a bit of excavating beforehand to create a usable surface. A slab foundation is a great option for warm and dry climates where frost depth won't be an issue. They also work perfectly for areas where water tables keep basements from being feasible.

What is the best soil to put around house foundation? ›

This soil should be dense- preferably clay soil. Adding sand and mulch will drain water straight through and around your foundation, ultimately making the foundation water problem worse. It's also important to make sure that the soil does not reach up to the siding.

What is the best soil to build a house on? ›

Loam: An ideal soil type for home construction, loam consists of silt, sand and clay. Dark and dry, loam is crumbly and soft to the touch. Because it is evenly balanced, loam is able to hold water at a more balanced rate.

What is the difference between settlement and foundation? ›

Settling is essentially the all-encompassing term used to describe the natural changes that take place in a foundation over the years. The two major culprits of foundation settling are time and weather. Over time, a new home gradually sinks into the ground, and a lot depends on the soil composition and climate.

What are the types of foundation plan? ›

The two major types of foundations are shallow foundations and deep foundations. Just as the models sound, they are measured by their depth in the soil and the load they can carry.

How long does a foundation settle? ›

How Long do Foundations Settle? For the most part a house will finish settling after about two years. Homes can continue to 'settle' after two years but it may be for different reasons than the initial two years. If your home was built atop soil that was not correctly compacted before the foundation was laid.

What happens if your foundation is sinking? ›

One of the biggest dangers of neglecting a building's foundation is structural damage. A sinking foundation can lead to massive damage to a home. This process is usually gradual and can culminate in major damages occurring over the years.

Do foundations settle over time? ›

It is a fact that all foundations will start to settle over time. You may see small cracks form in your walls and this is perfectly normal. Don't panic before you know whether there is anything to worry about. The first thing you need to do is inspect your home and look for any warning signs your home may have.

Whats does settlement mean? ›

It's when ownership passes from the seller to you, and you pay the balance of the sale price. The seller sets the settlement date in the contract of sale. As a general rule, property settlement periods are usually 30 to 90 days, but they can be longer or shorter.

What do we mean by settlements? ›

the act or state of settling or the state of being settled. the act of making stable or putting on a permanent basis. a state of stability or permanence. an arrangement or adjustment, as of business affairs or a disagreement. an agreement signed after labor negotiations between union and management.

How is settlement of soil determined? ›

Therefore, to determine the settlements, it is necessary to know: the course of vertical stresses σz with depth. The settlement-generating base stress σ1 = σ0 - γ • h must be used, taking into consideration the stress reduction by the excavation unloading for the embedment depth of the foundations.

What is settlement answer in one sentence? ›

A settlement is an agreement to end a disagreement or dispute without going to a court of law, for example by offering someone money.

What happens during settlement? ›

Settlement is the process of paying the remaining sale price and becoming the legal owner of a home. At settlement, your lender will disburse funds for your home loan and you'll receive the keys to your home. Generally, settlement takes place around 6 weeks after contracts are exchanged.

What do you mean by settlement write any two types of settlement? ›

Lesson Summary. A settlement is an organized human habitation. There are several ways to classify different types of settlements. Rural settlements are sparsely populated and are mostly agricultural, whereas urban settlements are densely populated and are mostly non-agricultural.

What are the 5 settlements? ›

There are 5 types of settlement classified according to their pattern, these are, isolated, dispersed, nucleated, and linear.

What are the three types of settlement in soil? ›

The total settlement of the ground consists of 3 components: immediate settlement (commonly referred to as elastic settlement, although this is a misnomer), consolidation settlement (or primary settlement) and creep settlement (or secondary settlement).

What causes settlement of foundation? ›

Foundation Settlement is due primarily to the expanding soil cycle (shrinkage and expansion) directly dependent on water content. This constant movement weakens and softens soils and can also create pockets/voids beneath your home's foundation, which your home will sink/settle into following the laws of gravity.

Why is it important to study soil settlement? ›

Settlement is an important criterion in the design of the foundations. Foundation settlement must be estimated carefully to ensure stability of buildings, towers, bridges, and any high cost structures. The main reason for the settlement occurrence is the compressive deformation of the soil.


1. Signs and Symptoms of Foundation Settlement: Part Five
(JES Foundation Repair)
2. Consolidation Settlement | Simply Explained with Work Example | Structural Guide
(Structural Guide)
3. American Society of Civil Engineers' GeoVideo
(UMD Swenson College of Science & Engineering)
4. 2016 02 11 Superstructure and Substructure Interaction, Soil Structure Settlement Analysis,
5. What Is Foundation Settlement ? || Types, Causes & Prevention
(Amazing Engineering | ACES)
6. Geotechnical Engineering|Types of Soil Settlements|Types of Foundations |causes of soil settlements
(Online Distance Learning)
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