Course Title: Analyse and design foundations

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: CIVE5684

Course Title: Analyse and design foundations

School: 130T Vocational Engineering

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6093 - Advanced Diploma of Engineering Design

Course Contact : Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4468

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Dr. B. Richards
Ph +61 3 9925 4172

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

EDX130B-Use technical mathematics (basic)
EDX140B-Use technical mathematics (advanced)
EDX100B-Analyse force systems (basic)
EDC010B-Carry out geotechnical site investigation
EAC120B-Test and evaluate soils

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to analyse and design residential slabs and footings, shallow footings in general and retaining structures, as well as select piles, underpinning methods and their applications, based on the fundamental principles and concepts applied to deep foundations, underpinning, trenching and sheet piling.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

EAC030B Analyse and design foundations


7. Determine appropriate underpinning for various situations.

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Appropriate underpinning for various situations is identified.
7.2 Understanding of the number of underpinning methods and their applications is applied to underpinning.


8. Design and analyse unsupported excavation trenching.

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Unsupported excavation trenching is designed and analysed.
8.2 The safety of an excavation trench can be assessed.


9. Design a cantilever sheetpiling wall.

Performance Criteria:

9.1 A cantilever sheetpile wall retaining cohesionless soil is designed.
9.2 A cantilever sheetpile wall retaining cohesive soil is designed.
9.3 The maximum moment acting on a sheetpile wall is determined and a suitable profile chosen from design charts.


1. Select an appropriate footing type.

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Understanding of the broad classification of foundations is used in the selection of footing types.
1.2 Understanding of the uncertainties and potential legal problems is used to inform footing decisions.
1.3 The correct investigation and monitoring techniques are named for a specific project.
1.4 Understanding of Factors of Safety is applied to footing design.
1.5 Appropriate footing types are selected for specific sites and project and the reason for each selection documented.


2. Carry out simple footing design to AS 2870 "Residential Slabs and Footings".

Performance Criteria:

2.1 The scope of AS 2870 is understood and used to inform footing design.
2.2 Variation in foundation behaviour as it relates to the complexity of footing design is understood and used to inform footing design.
2.3 Sketches are prepared of slabs and footings for different loads and soil types based on AS 2870.
2.4 Special considerations for footings on variable foundation is understood and used to inform footing design.


3. Carry out simple shallow footing designs based on the principles of soil mechanics.

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Designs are prepared for simple shallow footings based on formulae for calculating bearing capacity.
3.2 Consideration is given to correct soil parameters, the water table, proximity of slopes and presence of rock.


4. Calculate stresses in a soil mass.

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Calculations are carried out to determine the stresses in a soil mass due to footing pressure, the immediate elastic settlement,
the total final settlement and the tolerance of the structure to settlement and differential settlement.
4.2 Immediate and final consolidation settlements are estimated.
4.3 Comments are made on the tolerance of the building to the estimated settlement.


5. Design simple cantilever and gravity retaining walls.

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Understanding of common types of retaining structures and their uses is applied to retaining wall design.
5.2 The active/passive wall pressures and forces are determined.
5.3 The active pressure coefficients for saturated and drained clays are determined.
5.5 The surcharge forces, bearing capacity, settlement and factors of safety are calculated.
5.6 Calculations are carried out to design simple cantilever and gravity retaining walls to resist sliding and overturning.
5.7 Sketches are drawn showing the main features including adequate drainage.


6. Select pile type/s and prepare a design.

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Appropriate pile types are selected, given a building plan, structural loading and site data from lab and field test.
6.2 Understanding of the difference between driven and bored piles is applied to pile design.
6.3 Common pile driving formulae are used to analyse and design single driven piles.
6.4 The capacity of single piles and pile groups and their probable settlement is calculated by static analysis.
6.5 Sketches are prepared of some typical pile caps showing pile type and layout, dimensions, load carrying capacity and pile cap details.

Learning Outcomes


Details of Learning Activities

You will be involved in the following learning activities to meet requirements for this course and program
• Lectures
• Tutorials
• Projects
• Site visits
• Invited lecture

Further there will be a mixture of instructor–led face to face lessons and directed problem-solving exercises.

Student learning activities will include individual and team problem solving activities,  which address the designated areas of underpinning knowledge for each element. A record of such activities is to be kept in the Team Journal.  Activities will also include group and individual based research, oral presentation of research outcome. A minimum of 20% of the scheduled teaching hours will be allocated to self guided learning activities.

Teaching Schedule


Week        Topics DeliveredElements / Performance Criteria
1 - 31. Select an appropriate footing type1.1,1.2,1.3,1.4,1.5
4 - 62. Carry out simple footing design to AS2870 "Residential Slabs and Footings"
3. Carry out simple shallow footing designs based on the principles of soil mechanics
7 - 104. Calculate stresses in a soil mass                                                                                                                                           4.1,4.2,4.3
11 - 14

5. Design simple cantilever and gravity retaining walls
6. Select pile types and prepare a design

15 - 16

7.Determine appropriate underpinning for various situations
8. Design and analyse unsupported excavation trenching
9. Design a cantilever sheet piling wall

17 - 18Exam 5.1,5.2,5.3,5.4,5.5,5.6,5.7,6.1,6.2,6.3,6.4,6.5,8.1,8.2,8.3,9.1,9.2,9.3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Will be advised during lessons.


Other Resources

Notes posted on the blackboard.  Handouts are distributed during class on a need basis.  Handouts distributed during class are not posted on the blackboard.


Overview of Assessment

Assessment are conducted in both theoretical and practical aspects of the course according to the performance criteria set out in the National Training Package. Students are required to undertake summative assessments that bring together knowledge and skills. To successfully complete this course you will be required to demonstrate competency in each assessment tasks detailed under the Assessment Task Section.

Your assessment for this course will be marked using the following table:

NYC (<50%) Not Yet Competent

CAG (50-59%) Competent - Pass

CC (60-69%) Competent - Credit

CDI (70-79%) Competent - Distinction

CHD (80-100%) Competent - High Distinction

Assessment Tasks

Assessment of this unit will be based on:
Assignment 1-team assignment, 15% 
Test 1, 45%
Assignment 2,  5% 
Test 2, 30%
Team journal, 5%

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods which include written/oral activities, and demonstration of skills through specific class activities.  Cheat sheets are not allowed during closed book assessments. Solely authorized material is permitted during open book assessments (e.g., uploaded material on the blackboard, class handouts). Student written material, solution to problems, or books, are not permitted during open book assessments.  Solely the use of scientific calculators is allowed. The team journal must contain record of all class activities, handouts, uploaded notes, worked solutions, etc.

Assessment Matrix


   CIVE5684 Element/Performance Criteria
Assessment 6.3 9.3
Assignment 1 x x x x x x x x x                        
Test 1          x x x x x                   
Assignment 2                           x x     
Test 2               x x x x x x x x x x x x   x x x x x
Team journalxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Other Information

Student directed hours involve completing activities such as reading online resources, assignments, individual student-teacher course-related consultation. Students are required to self-study the learning materials and complete the assigned out of class activities. The estimated time is minimum 20 hours outside the class time.

Credit Transfer and/or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

You may be eligible for credit towards courses in your program if you have already met the learning/competency outcomes through previous learning and/or industry experience. To be eligible for credit towards a course, you must demonstrate that you have already completed learning and/or gained industry experience that is:

• Relevant
• Current
• Satisfies the learning/competency outcomes of the course

Please refer to to find more information about credit transfer and RPL.

Study and Learning Support:

Study and Learning Centre (SLC) provides free learning and academic development advice to you. Services offered by SLC to support your numeracy and literacy skills are:

• Assignment writing, thesis writing and study skills advice
• Maths and science developmental support and advice
• English language development

Please refer to to find more information about Study and Learning Support.

Disability Liaison Unit:

If you are suffering from long-term medical condition or disability, you should contact Disability Liaison Unit to seek advice and support to complete your studies.
Please refer to to find more information about services offered by Disability Liaison Unit.

Late Submission:

If you require an Extension of Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) for seven calendar days or less (from the original due date) and have valid reasons, you must complete an Application for Extension of Submittable Work (7 Calendar Days or less) form and lodge it with the Senior Educator/ Program Manager.

The application must be lodged no later than one working day before the official due date. You will be notified within no more than two working days of the date of lodgement as to whether the extension has been granted.

If you seek an Extension of Submittable Work for more than seven calendar days (from the original due date), you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form under the provisions of the Special Consideration Policy, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date.

Submittable Work (assignments, reports or project work etc.) submitted late without approval of an extension will not be accepted or marked.

Special Consideration:

Please refer to to find more information about special consideration.


Plagiarism is a form of cheating and it is very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the university.

Please refer to to find more information about plagiarism.

Email Communication:

All email communications will be sent to your RMIT email address and you must regularly check your RMIT emails.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview