Geotechnical Group Chair Walter J. Papp, Jr. (right) presents a Golden Apple to Clyde N. Baker, Jr. (left) after the lecture (Photo by Robert Talby)
Clyde N. Baker, Jr., P.E., S.E. delivered a technical lecture titled "Design of Foundations for the World's Tallest Buildings" at the CUNY Graduate Center on Thursday, March 18, 2010. Mr. Baker is currently the Senior Principal Engineer with AECOM Technology Corporation in Illinois. Mr. Baker has graciously made a technical paper containing his pdf presentation available.

In his presentation, Mr. Baker discussed the foundations of two of the world's tallest buildings, Petronas Towers, located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Burj Dubai (since renamed Burj Khalifa), located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also spoke about the foundations at several high rises in Chicago.

Mr. Baker highlighted the use of a mat foundation supported on piles for both the Petronas Towers and Burj Dubai. In both cases, the piles provided support for mat foundations situated on relatively weak subsurface, partly by improving the stiffness of the soil. Mr. Baker discussed the use of pressuremeter tests and other site investigation tools in characterizing subsurface material as necessary steps for foundation design.

In the last part of his presentation, Mr. Baker discussed his experience with several prominent structures in Chicago, where the designers were able to utilize relatively high allowable bearing pressure through thorough site investigation and load tests on foundations.

Summary by Anirban De