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IHS BRE Press has just published the 3rd edition of the bestselling publication Building on fill: geotechnical aspects.  The latest revision, funded by the BRE Trust, draws on more than 40 years of BRE’s research and consultancy in the field.

A high proportion of commercial, industrial and housing developments are now built on fills, that is ground that has been deposited by human activity rather than natural geological processes, and the political and commercial impetus to build on ‘brownfield’ land continues to grow. An adequate understanding of the behaviour of fills and the ways in which they can economically be rendered suitable for building purposes is a critical element in ensuring the safe development of such sites.

Author Ken Watts states ‘Building on filled ground presents substantial technical challenges that generally do not exist when building on natural soils and rock. In the past failures have occurred and some notable ones are summarised in this book. There are certain to have been others that have not reached the public domain. Most will have caused structural damage, usually resulting in substantial financial losses and potential blight on the affected developments. Increasingly development will take place on filled ground and represents a large proportion of all new developments in the UK.

This book summarises the acquired knowledge on this subject based on research and detailed observations over many decades.

Some historical incidents have been diagnosed with the benefit of the up-to-date knowledge. The aim of this book is to minimise, and hopefully eliminate, any future problems arising from the hazards that are present in building on fill.’

. New material includes:
– research findings and industry experience since publication of the second edition in 2001

– additional chapters on ground improvement and treatment using both proprietary and non-proprietary techniques
– six new case histories and updated cases from the second edition
– studies on the behaviour of fills over both a longer time period and a wider range of fills.

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Ali Nicholl
About the Author
Innovation Network Manager @BRE_Group helping companies to innovate within the built environment. All opinions my own.

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