Reliability of Geotechnical Structures in ISO2394  book cover
1st Edition

Reliability of Geotechnical Structures in ISO2394

Edited By

K.K. Phoon


J.V. Retief

ISBN 9780367574468
Published June 30, 2020 by CRC Press
248 Pages

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Book Description

The latest 4th edition of the international standard on the principles of reliability for load bearing structures (ISO2394:2015) includes a new Annex D dedicated to the reliability of geotechnical structures. The emphasis in Annex D is to identify and characterize critical elements of the geotechnical reliability-based design process. This book contains a wealth of data and information to assist geotechnical engineers with the implementation of semi-probabilistic or full probabilistic design approaches within the context of established geotechnical knowledge, principles, and experience.

The introduction to the book presents an overview on how reliability can play a complementary role within prevailing norms in geotechnical practice to address situations where some measured data and/or past experience exist for limited site-specifi c data to be supplemented by both objective regional data and subjective judgment derived from comparable sites elsewhere. The principles of reliability as presented in ISO2394:2015 provides the common basis for harmonization of structural and geotechnical design. The balance of the chapters describes the uncertainty representation of geotechnical design parameters, the statistical characterization of multivariate geotechnical data and model factors, semi-probabilistic and direct probability-based design methods in accordance to the outline of Annex D.

This book elaborates and reinforces the goal of Annex D to advance geotechnical reliability-based design with geotechnical needs at the forefront while complying with the general principles of reliability given by ISO2394:2015. It serves as a supplementary reference to Annex D and it is a must-read for designing geotechnical structures in compliance with ISO2394:2015.

Table of Contents

Reliability as a basis for geotechnical design
General principles on reliability according to ISO2394
Uncertainty representation of geotechnical design parameters
Statistical characterization of multivariate geotechnical data
Statistical characterization of model uncertainty
Semi-probabilistic reliability-based design
Direct probability-based design methods

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Kok-Kwang Phoon is Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS). He is a Professional Engineer in Singapore and past President of the Geotechnical Society of Singapore. His main research interests include statistical characterization of geotechnical parameters and reliability-based design in geotechnical engineering. He is the recipient of numerous research awards, including the ASCE Norman Medal in 2005 and the NUS Outstanding Researcher Award in 2010. He is the Founding Editor of Georisk and Chair of TC304 (Engineering Practice of Risk Assessment and Management) in the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). He was former Chair of ASCE Geo-Institute Risk Assessment and Management Committee. He is Fellow of ASCE and Fellow of the Academy of Engineering Singapore.

Johan V. Retief is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He was awarded DSc(Eng) and DEng degrees from Pretoria and Stellenbosch Universities and graduate degrees from Imperial College and Stanford University. His fields of interest are the development of risk and reliability to design standards as the basis of design, with applications to wind loading, structural concrete and geotechnical practice, amongst other related topics. As member of ISO TC98 he has been a member of the management group for ISO2394:2015 and is presently Convenor for the revision of the related ISO22111. He is a member of the SA Bureau of Standards TC98 on design standards, a fellow of SAICE and moderator of its journal and received the 2014 Jennings award for a geotechnical paper with Dr Dithinde.


"From a geotechnical perspective, the key departure of the current ISO2394:2015 from previous versions is the introduction of a new informative Annex D on “Reliability of Geotechnical Structures [...] The book unlocks the general principles of reliability as presented in this 4th edition of ISO 2394 for extended application in geotechnical practice effectively. The resulting systematic application of reliability based geotechnical design will consequently be soundly founded on the reputable international standard. It is a must-read for designing geotechnical structures in compliance with ISO2394."

Book Review in the ISSMGE Bulletin (Oct 2016)


"Structural and geotechnical engineers sometimes seem to live in different worlds. They use different words, different methods and different concepts. Usually the geotechnical engineer has only a very limited knowledge of steel and concrete structures while soil is an unknown material for the structural engineer. And yet: they both are working on the same structure and that structure can only function properly if all aspects are taken care of in a consistent way.

When preparing the ISO 2394, Basis of Structural Design, the writing panel had a clear vision that this document should be valid and useful for all structural aspects of design and assessment, regardless of the material and including the foundation. In every chapter and in every statement it was checked whether this indeed was the case. A special annex was completely devoted to geotechnical aspects. It is good to see that this initiative has been picked up by the authors of this book, which is in the first place a reflection on the contents of ISO 2394, but also a very useful extension with data, methods and examples. It certainly also helps to close some of the gaps mentioned above.

The book may be of a great help for everyone who wants to deal in a serious and systematic way with scatter and unc