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The Importance of Soil Mechanics

The Importance of Soil Mechanics

The Importance of Soil Mechanics to the Construction of Buildings.

Having a deep understanding of the types of soil and how they behave is, therefore, important in such excavation activities. Soil mechanics can help an engineer anticipate areas that may cave in or cause landslides during resource extraction and come up with appropriate ways of preventing such disastrous incidents.

The Importance of Soil Mechanics to the Construction of Buildings

Soil mechanics is essentially defined as an aspect of engineering that deals with the behaviour of soil particles within a material or structure and are primarily used for determining soil properties and structural stability. Soil is composed of soil particles that move in a random way within the soil. It is difficult to accurately measure the properties of soil on a large scale. It is for this reason that soil mechanics is one of the various important aspects of the study of soil. Soil Mechanics: Role in the Construction of Buildings Soil mechanics is an important aspect of the study of soil. However, it is only the initial phase of soil mechanics study.

Types of Soil

Soil classification by density, texture and biological activity can be categorised into three types – dry and moist, loose and compact. When it comes to materials containing clay, which is responsible for giving our structures that distinctive look, we can refer to this classification. Clay particles are like grains of sand, which can be scattered around and in turn, also become hard. Clay is an important mineral, as it increases the structural strength of any structure. Soil composition is in principle, determined by the type of rock over which the soil is formed. This defines how it should be managed during the excavation process.

Soil Mechanics

Soil mechanics plays a vital role in the construction of buildings and structures. The soil subsidence of different locations is the reason why engineers determine the soil load that will be built on a foundation. Therefore, soil mechanics plays a very vital role in determining how much weight is to be provided on a foundation. A computer is used to analyze the soil data and, based on this, how much weight can be provided on the foundation. Soil testing Samples of the soil are obtained from various locations to determine what type of soil is available in the area. Soil types vary based on their density, which is the product of volume and mass. The different types of soil depend on the density and degree of saturation of the soil.

How Soil Mechanics Can Help

Structural soil is defined as the presence of abundant, strong and stable structural materials – mainly sand, silt and clay. The state of structural soil is determined by soil density and grain size. Soils that are rich in organic matter generally have a low density and tend to be soft or sandy. Low-density soils can present challenges to tunnelling as it is more likely that the soil structure will cave in or lose compaction. Deeper tunnels for traditional mining or industrial excavation have a lot of risk of subsidence. On the other hand, a significant decrease in the density of the soil can make the tunnel collapse more quickly and easily. This can be a huge concern, particularly in tunnelling projects.


A lot of architects are concerned about the use of certain chemicals or by-products that are used in cement manufacturing processes in building projects. For instance, when cement is manufactured, a chemical called phenol is used. This chemical has the ability to become a carcinogenic compound when exposed to UV radiation, so, it is important for an architect to stay away from cement mixtures that have high levels of this chemical.

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