Article Published In Vol.6,No.2

Damages of Buildings on Expansive Soils: Diagnosis and Avoidance

Author : Magdi M. E. Zumrawi, Asim O. Abdelmarouf, and Abubakr E. A. Gameil

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This paper aims to identify the factors that cause damages to buildings constructed on expansive soils and suggests practical solutions to avoid swelling problems. Literature of buildings failures associated with expansive soils and techniques experienced to prevent the swelling damages were intensively reviewed. Three regions in Khartoum state, famous expansive soil areas were selected for this study. Ten cases of damaged buildings were randomly selected for investigation. A field survey of damages was conducted to diagnosis and point out the causes, extent and type of damage that was observed in the buildings. It was observed that eight lightweight buildings suffered heavy damages and only two other buildings were slightly damaged. Common failures observed were cracks in walls and floors, foundation movements, column buckling, sagging of beams and slabs in typical damage cases. It was found that poor surface drainage, gardens watering close to buildings, source of water leakage and improper design of foundation contribute to most failures and damages in buildings. Based on the causes of failure and other factors, practical measures are suggested for the damaged buildings. Finally, conclusions are drawn from the study findings.

Keywords: Damages; diagnosis; expansive soil; buildings.