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   Foundation Performance

   Houston, Texas

   Webmaster:  Molly Fischer

DECEMBER 11, 2019
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
4:00 PM (1.0 PDH) Geoforensic Study of a Commercial Building
5:30 PM (1.0 PDH) The Interplay among Soil Condition, Transportation Network and Flood Control Network during Flooding Events

Hess Club
5430 Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77056
(Business casual dress code)

Your reservations are appreciated.  Please click below on one of the scheduled times to make your reservation(s) online. If you are unable to register online, please contact Vicky Bonds at Geotech Engineering and Testing, Tel: 713-699-4000 at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Continuing Education Certificates will be provided at the end of the meeting(s) for attendees that are current members and who have preregistered. However for Ethics Workshops, nonmembers who have preregistered will also be given Continuing Education Certificates at the close of the workshop provided a payment of $25 is received (pay at the door, check or cash please).

This technical program is complimentary to you thanks in part to our Room Sponsors:

Nelson Construction and Foundation Repair
Ram Jack
VoidForm Products, Inc.

4:00 PM (1.0 PDH)

Title : Geoforensic Study of a Commercial Building

Speaker : Dr. Harry Nguyen w/ Geotech Engineering and Testing

Abstract : The damages of light structures caused by soil desiccation of vegetation has long been recognized. However, understanding for a complex natural system of vegetation, soils, weather and their effects on the stability of light structure foundation is quite poor; for example, there is still little evidence to distinguish between species, soil types, foundation types and different regional weather patterns. This paper discusses the foundation distress of a commercial building in City of Houston, which is caused by soil desiccation of young trees near building. Growth and penetration of tree roots into soils, water absorption and transpiration of trees, and foundation-placed depth of light structures constructed near trees will also be discussed.

5:30 PM (1.0 PDH)

Title : The Interplay among Soil Condition, Transportation Network and Flood Control Network during Flooding Events

Speakers : Dr. Robert L. Lytton, P.E. w/ Texas A & M, and Bahrulla Abdulla w/ Texas A & M

Abstract : There are essential and interwoven relationships between different critical sectors in a city. Even though they are not especially evident during the normal functioning period of the critical sectors, their relationship oftentimes becomes known after a series of cascading failures during a disruptive event. This presentation will be a demonstration of the network interdependence among transportation, flood control networks, and soil conditions during and after an extensive flooding event. These sectors are closely related because, when an extreme rainfall event occurs, most of the time, the flood control infrastructure will first function as the drainage system to collect the rain fallen in other places and channel them to the appropriate outlets (sea, reservoirs or rivers). When the flood control network reaches its capacity, the excessive flood water propagates to other locations like road networks, as shown in Figure 1, above.

What's more important, during these events, there usually are significant changes in the configurations of the surface soil on the land. Excessive water causes the soil to be saturated, reduces the cohesion between the soil and its foundational structures, which leads to the lateral or vertical movement in the soil in or around the flood control network. Accompanied by a wide variety of dislocated objects, these accumulated objects cause a significant reduction in the water-carrying capacity of the flood control network and building foundations. Figure 2 below shows the locations in the flood control network ( bayous, channels, and creeks) for which maintenance was requested during Hurricane Harvey.

The compromised flood control networks cause fluvial flooding events, which in return cause the roads to be inundated and closed for both passenger and service vehicles.

Figure 3 shows the road network in Harris County and the locations where TxDOT reported road closures during the hurricane Harvey.

This presentation will examine the cascading failures among soil movements, reduction (compromisation) of the capacity of flood control networks and closure of the transportation systems. These findings provide information for critical decisions about emergency management, land use, flood control, transportation planning, emergency management, flooding levels, and latent damage to buildings and other structures in Houston, which will occur over an extended period of time after the inundation event.

Dr. Lytton is an FPA Fellow, FPA Structural Committee Member, Professor of Civil Engineering in the Zachry Civil Engineering Department of the Texas A&M University, and a Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas. He has earned a BSCE in 1960 and an MSCE in 1961, both from University of Texas, Austin. He then served two years active duty in the US Army as a construction engineer followed by two years in Houston working for a consulting engineer. Then he went back to UT-Austin to complete his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering in 1967. After teaching at UT and spending time in Australia, Dr. Lytton came to Texas A&M in 1970 where he continues to teach and supervise undergraduate and graduate students today in the Zachry Civil Engineering Department.

Dr. Lytton is internationally recognized for his work in the study of the effect of expansive soil on foundations and pavements, having given presentations on the subject worldwide, recently as the keynote speaker at the 2nd Transportation Research Congress in Beijing, China in May 2017. The same Research Congress hosted a symposium that was named in his honor, called The 2nd Transportation Research Congress Symposium in Honor of Robert L Lytton. In August 2017, at the International Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ASCEs Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) bestowed its 2017 Francis C. Turner Award on Dr. Lytton for his advancements and innovation of pavements design and construction. He has over 500 publications to his credit, more than 200 of which are in refereed journals.

Dr. Lytton has selflessly presented to this FPA forum on an annual basis at least 17 times and he has also presented in past FPA seminars.

Bahrulla Abdulla is a senior Ph.D. student in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A & M University. He conducts research on critical infrastructure resilience, especially road network resilience against flooding events, using graph-theory based methods. Prior to joining Texas A & M University, he worked as a research assistant on an MIT-Masdar Institute (of Khalifa University of Science and Technology) collaborative research project in Abu Dhabi, where he earned his M.Sc. degree in engineering systems and management in July 2014 and continued Ph.D. research in Interdisciplinary Engineering until July 2017.



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Next Meeting
January 8, 2020
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
4:00 PM Workshop
Mr. Dave Hasness, P.E. w/ Keystone Hardscapes
5:30 PM Presentation
David A. Eastwood, P.E., D.GE, DFE, C.A.P.M., F.FPA, F.ASCE w/ Geotech Engineering and Testing
Last Meeting - Workshop
December 11, 2019
4:00 PM
Dr. Harry Nguyen w/ Geotech Engineering and Testing
Last Meeting - Presentation
December 11, 2019
5:30 PM
Dr. Robert L. Lytton, P.E. w/ Texas A & M, and Bahrulla Abdulla w/ Texas A & M

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The Structural Committee