Performance of Stiffened Slab-on-Grade Foundation on Shrink-Swell Soils: Case Study of the Ellison Office Building, College Station, Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers. Stiffened slabs-on-grade are one of the most efficient and inexpensive foundation solutions for lightweight structures on shrink-swell soils. The Ellison Office Building (EOB) is a 1-story steel-framed building founded on a clay formation of high shrink-swell potential. The foundation system of the EOB is composed of a rectangular stiffened slab-on-grade with approximate dimensions of 18.3 by 38.1 m. The slab thickness is 0.1 m, and the depth of all stiffening beams is 1.05 m. Beam spacing distances, center to center, are 3.05 and 3.81 m in the short and long directions, respectively. Exploration of subsurface soil conditions at the EOB site took place to determine soil index properties as well as unsaturated moisture diffusion and volume change characteristics for unsaturated soils. Monitoring the movements of both the slab-on-grade and the 4.5 m soil underneath continued for 2 years after foundation construction, since September 2004. Investigating the EOB foundation performance in light of the soil-structure interaction characteristics of the foundation showed two main distinct slab movement patterns: continuous global heave and localized fluctuating slab edge heave and drop movements.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities

author list (cited authors)

  • Abdelmalak, R., & Briaud, J.

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Abdelmalak, Remon||Briaud, Jean-Louis

publication date

  • June 2017