What is Settlement?
Settlement is the deformation of soils due to the addition of loads or generally the change of stresses in the soil.
Settlement generally affects structures in two ways, total settlement and differential settlement.
Total settlement refers to the total amount of settlement allowed out of any one foundation element while differential settlement refers to the difference in settlement between two points within a structure, e.g. between two footings.
While total settlement can be problematic, differential settlement generally presents a greater risk of structural distress, as it can result in cracking, misalignment of doors and windows, and in extreme cases, stability issues for the entire structure.
How can settlement be mitigated?
WBG offers the following techniques that can be used to mitigate settlements depending on ground conditions, load levels and other project constraints.