2Key Soil Engineering PropertiesCompressibilitySettlementStrengthAbility to carry loadPermeability (hydraulic conductivity)Flow of water through soilsSettlement Failure
3Palace of Fine Arts, MexicoA strange case of Palace of Fine Arts in the Alameda area of Mexico City.Built sometime between 1900 and 1934, it was a magnificent and strongly built structure It was built was a magnificent and strongly built structure. on grade, level with the square and other buildings nearby.But because of loose sand permeated with water in the subsurface, the massive structure sunk 6 ft into the ground!(Luckily, it settled evenly minimizing structural damage.) Believe it or not, in the 1960's the building moved again.This time it moved 12 ft up!The weight of skyscrapers being built around the Palace had pushed the subsurface water and soil around sufficiently to raise the building.(Source: Why Buildings Fall Down, M. Levy and M. Salvadori, WW Norton & Company, 1992) Shear Failure
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