Risk and Reliability in Geotechnical Engineering


Reliability-based design is relatively well established in structural design. Its use is less mature in geotechnical design, but there is a steady progression towards reliability-based design as seen in the inclusion of a new Annex D on “Reliability of Geotechnical Structures” in the third edition of ISO 2394. Reliability-based design can be viewed as a simplified form of risk-based design where different consequences of failure are implicitly covered by the adoption of different target reliability indices. Explicit risk management methodologies are required for large geotechnical systems where soil and loading conditions are too varied to be conveniently slotted into a few reliability classes (typically three) and an associated simple discrete tier of target reliability indices.


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