The drought period of 1975-76 was a stark reminder to the construction industry of the potential risks involved in placing shallow foundations on those clay sub-soils which are susceptible to the phenomena of swelling and shrinkage. Many of these clays are encountered in SE England and a fairly large outcrop of London Clay occurs in the Fareham area of Hampshire. A considerable number of foundation problems exist in this area and eight case histories are reviewed in this paper, with particular emphasis on the effect of trees and vegetation on soil moisture content. Four of these cases deal with damage to existing properties and four are concerned with new development. This study reinforces the view that piles may well provide the best technical solution for foundation construction in problem areas such as this.

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