Foundation Failure


We were contacted to evaluate damage in a slab-on-ground foundation for a student-housing complex. The complex had an unusual design with a narrow neck of concrete between the two halves of the apartments. The original designer apparently was concerned about a problem because they required a bond breaker between the two halves.

Unfortunately, the bond breaker actually worsened the problem, and failure of the slab occurred in the middle of the building. Notice on the photo of the slab with arrows that the reinforcing steel in the slab was exposed. The slab movement caused major damage to the walls and roof above the damaged foundation because the joint did not completely carry through the building. We designed a repair to strengthen the slab to resist damaging movement, then added modifications to the architectural finishes to allow future movement at the joint to occur without causing visible distress.

We performed construction observation during construction and saw the work completed.