The issues, which affect the successful application of ground improvement in soil and rock, are studied with emphasis on the design, construction and long-term performance of the improved ground. Discussed are over thirty technical issues affecting twenty four ground improvement techniques representing the eight main categories of ground improvement in soil: densification, consolidation, weight reduction, reinforcement, chemical treatment, thermal stabilization, electrotreatment and biotechnical stabilization. The issues, which influence rock integrity, are also discussed, including those related to rock properties as well as external factors such as water, climate, earthquakes and others. Eight types of rock degradation are described in the paper and possible remediation measures are identified for each, many of which include the application of ground improvement. Several factors, which may influence the selection of a ground improvement technique or a combination of techniques, are discussed and a case study is presented to demonstrate the selection process.
The ground improvement techniques applied in the geotechnical engineering practice are tools used by the geotechnical engineer for "fixing" the problems of poor ground. The locations, heights and configurations of some of the historic monuments seen today were influenced to a certain degree by the anticipated behavior of the ground. Technical, practical, economical and political factors influence the answers for the first and third questions. To provide credible answers, however, the second question should be answered first. In this paper, the critical issues, which affect the feasibility of the main ground improvement methods in the current state of the practice, are evaluated from design and construction points of view. Discussed in the paper are the factors that influence the selection of a particular ground important technique, or a combination of techniques. A recent case study is also presented to demonstrate the selection process.