Lessons (Re)learned from Geotechnical Failures

Richard J. Finno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Despite the advances in knowledge in geotechnical engineering over the last decades, failures during construction of structures still occur. This paper describes four such failures related to excavation support, and discusses their causes, from both technical and non-technical standpoints. The failures described include both limit and serviceability state failures. One can expand the notion of redundancy to include non-technical issues and it is in this context that the failures are discussed. The case histories show that if redundancy had been properly employed during design and construction, the failures probably would not have occurred.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-28
Number of pages15
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 321
StatePublished - 2020
EventGeo-Congress 2020: University of Minnesota 68th Annual Geotechnical Engineering Conference - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Feb 25 2020Feb 28 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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