Use of the Net Partial Wetting Factor (NPWF) method of computation of remaining heave: A forensic study

Sandra Houston, Peter A. Stauffer, Michael W. West, Emma L. Bradford, William N. Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A wealth of litigation-related information was available at a development where swelling soil conditions exist, including some soil suction measurements, extensive swell test results, and level surveys of building movement obtained at various points in time, providing information for evaluation of methods for estimating remaining heave. The development included 34 residential buildings constructed over a 6-year period, soon after which ground heave and associated structural movement occurred at several of the buildings. The remaining heave computations made by the writers are based on application of net partial wetting factors (NPWF) to fully-wetted swell test results, as proposed by Houston and Houston (2017). Comparisons and discussion of other remaining heave computation methods are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-131
Number of pages15
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 300
StatePublished - 2018
Event2nd Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils: Plenary Papers, PanAm-UNSAT 2017 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Nov 12 2017Nov 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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