Reference : Causes of major geotechnical disasters
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Paper published in a book
Engineering, computing & technology : Civil engineering
Causes of major geotechnical disasters
Van Baars, Stefan mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) > Engineering Research Unit >]
3rd International Symposium on Geotechnical Safety and Risk, München,
3rd International Symposium on Geotechnical Safety and Risk
june 2011
[en] Many disasters are related to geotechnical failure. Both for risk management and for future research it is important to know what new knowledge is needed to prevent these disasters. Therefore elev-en geotechnical disasters or failing projects of the last ten years in modern countries are studied and com-pared in this paper. All examples show that the disasters or failing projects had nothing to do with a large spread of the strength or load in a foreseen failing mechanism. There was also not an unknown failure mechanism or a lack of existing scientifical knowledge. All cases show a lack of available knowledge (or incompetence) of the designing part of the construction management. The mistakes which were made were often of a level not higher than a BSc or MSc teaching level. In none of these cases these mistakes were tackled by an internal project auditing and in none of these cases these mistakes were tackled by an exter-nal project design control, for example for a building permit.
The biggest risk parameter in geotechnical design is therefore not the spread of load or strength parame-ters, but by far the existence and quality of the internal project auditing and the external project design control.

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