Foundations I

Base Knowledge

Soil Mechanics.

Teaching Methodologies

In TP lessons an expository and inquisitive method is used for explanation of theoretical subjects and there will be individual and group resolution of exercises. Students should perform a research team work with a written report and an oral presentation. In OT classes the methodology is based on skills. The students are supervised, through the clarification of doubts, problems resolution and guidance of research tasks. Field visits will be held when possible. In Laboratory Practice classes the students watch in situ tests demonstrations and perform, present and publically defend the research group tasks.

Learning Results

The goals of the unit are the technology and design of earth supporting structures and foundations.
Generic skills: application of knowledge and understanding; Realization of judgment and decision making; Self-learning; Teamwork; Oral and written communication..
Specific skills: Analyze and understand the functioning of foundations and earth support structures. Recognize, diagnose and prevent geotechnical and structural pathologies in constructions, on what concerns foundations and soils support. In the case of rigid walls and shallow foundations, students will have the skills to designing, supervision, management and repair of works.


1. Lateral earth pressures: At rest; Lateral pressure coefficients; Limit equilibrium active and passive; Methods of Rankine and Coulomb; Caquot-Kérisel.
2. Earth Retaining Structures, Types: rigid and flexible; Gravity walls, gabions, concrete, etc.; Reinforced soil; Flexible structures; Design and stability; Classical method; EC7; Drainage.
3. Foundations: Classification; Shallow. Suitability; Failure; Prandtl Mechanism; Terzaghi and Meyerhof theories; Bearing capacity. Short / long term; Classical method; Eurocode 7; Settlements; Types; Forecasting; Immediate, consolidation and fluency.
4. In-situ tests for foundations bearing capacity and deformation prediction: Penetration and load; Ménard and selfboring pressuremeters; Marchetti Dilatometer. Seismic tests. Correlations.
5. Deep foundations: Classification; Types; Bearing capacity of a single pile. Toe and shaft resistance; Terzaghi, Meyerhof, Berezantzev and Vesic theories; Methods based on CPT and SPT tests; Dynamic for …

Curricular Unit Teachers




• Matos Fernandes, M. (2016). Mecânica dos Solos – volumes I e II. Portugal: FEUP Edições.
• Moreira, C., Dimensionamento de Muros de Suporte
• Moreira, C., Estruturas Flexíveis de Contenção Periférica