101 Building Site Development

Building Site Development

Soil properties influence the development of building sites, including the selection of the site, the design of the structure, construction, performance after construction, and maintenance. Tables 13 and 14 show the degree and kind of soil limitations that affect dwellings with and without basements, small commercial buildings, local roads and streets, shallow excavations, and lawns and landscaping. The ratings in the tables are both verbal and numerical. Rating class terms indicate the extent to which the soils are limited by all of the soil features that affect building site development. Not limitedindicates that the soil has features that are very favorable for the specified use. Good performance and very low maintenance can be expected. Somewhat limited indicates that the soil has features that are moderately favorable for the specified use. The limitations can be overcome or minimized by special planning, design, or installation. Fair performance and moderate maintenance can be expected. Very limited indicates that the soil has one or more features that are unfavorable for the specified use. The limitations generally cannot be overcome without major soil reclamation, special design, or expensive installation procedures. Poor performance and high maintenance can be expected.

Numerical ratings in the tables indicate the severity of individual limitations. The ratings are shown as decimal fractions ranging from 0.00 to 1.00. They indicate gradations between the point at which a soil feature has the greatest negative impact on the use (1.00) and the point at which the soil feature is not a limitation (0.00).

Dwellings are single-family houses of three stories or less. For dwellings without basements, the foundation is assumed to consist of spread footings of reinforced concrete built on undisturbed soil at a depth of 2 feet or at the depth of maximum frost penetration, whichever is deeper. For dwellings with basements, the foundation is assumed to consist of spread footings of reinforced concrete built on undisturbed soil at a depth of about 7 feet. The ratings for dwellings are based on the soil properties that affect the capacity of the soil to support a load without movement and on the properties that affect excavation and construction costs. The properties that affect the load-supporting capacity include depth to a water table, ponding, flooding, subsidence, linear extensibility (shrink-swell potential), and compressibility. Compressibility is inferred from the Unified classification. The properties that affect the ease and amount of excavation include depth to a water table, ponding, flooding, slope, depth to bedrock or a cemented pan, hardness of bedrock or a cemented pan, and the amount and size of rock fragments.

Small commercial buildings are structures that are less than three stories high and do not have basements. The foundation is assumed to consist of spread footings of reinforced concrete built on undisturbed soil at a depth of 2 feet or at the depth of maximum frost penetration, whichever is deeper. The ratings are based on the soil properties that affect the capacity of the soil to support a load without

movement and on the properties that affect excavation and construction costs. The properties that affect the load-supporting capacity include depth to a water table, ponding, flooding, subsidence, linear extensibility (shrink-swell potential), and compressibility (which is inferred from the Unified classification). The properties that affect the ease and amount of excavation include flooding, depth to a water table, ponding, slope, depth to bedrock or a cemented pan, hardness of bedrock or a cemented pan, and the amount and size of rock fragments.

Local roads and streets have an all-weather surface and carry automobile and light truck traffic all year. They have a subgrade of cut or fill soil material; a base of gravel, crushed rock, or soil material stabilized by lime or cement; and a surface of flexible material (asphalt), rigid material (concrete), or gravel with a binder. The ratings are based on the soil properties that affect the ease of excavation and grading and the traffic-supporting capacity. The properties that affect the ease of excavation and grading are depth to bedrock or a cemented pan, hardness of bedrock or a cemented pan, depth to a water table, ponding, flooding, the amount of large stones, and slope. The properties that affect the traffic-supporting capacity are soil strength (as inferred from the AASHTO group index number), subsidence, linear extensibility (shrinkswell potential), the potential for frost action, depth to a water table, and ponding.

Shallow excavations are trenches or holes dug to a maximum depth of 5 or 6 feet for utility lines, open ditches, or other purposes. The ratings are based on the soil properties that influence the ease of digging and the resistance to sloughing. Depth to bedrock or a cemented pan, hardness of bedrock or a cemented pan, the amount of large stones, and dense layers influence the ease of digging, filling, and compacting. Depth to the seasonal high water table, flooding, and ponding may restrict the period when excavations can be made. Slope influences the ease of using machinery. Soil texture, depth to the water table, and linear extensibility (shrink-swell potential) influence the resistance to sloughing.

Lawns and landscaping require soils on which turf and ornamental trees and shrubs can be established and maintained. Irrigation is not considered in the ratings, but it may be needed for the establishment and maintenance of vegetation. The ratings are based on the soil properties that affect plant growth and trafficability after vegetation is established. The properties that affect plant growth are reaction; depth to a water table; ponding; depth to bedrock or a cemented pan; the available water capacity in the upper 40 inches; the content of salts, sodium, or calcium carbonate; and sulfidic materials. The properties that affect trafficability are flooding, depth to a water table, ponding, slope, stoniness, and the amount of sand, clay, or organic matter in the surface layer.

 

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