The “Red Book” presents a background to conventional foundation analysis and design. The text is not intended to replace the much more comprehensive ‘standard’ textbooks, but rather to support and augment these in a few important areas, supplying methods applicable to practical cases handled daily by practicing engineers and providing the basic soil mechanics background to those methods.
It concentrates on the static design for stationary foundation conditions. Although the topic is far from exhaustively treated, it does intend to present most of the basic material needed for solving common geotechnical design problems. Indeed, I make the somewhat brazen claim that the text actually goes a good deal beyond what the average geotechnical engineers usually deals with in the course of an ordinary design practice, but not beyond what they should deal with.
The text emphasizes two main aspects of geotechnical analysis, the use of effective stress analysis and the understanding that the distribution of pore pressures in the field is fundamental to the relevance of any foundation design. Indeed, foundation design requires a solid understanding of the, in principle simple, but, in reality, very complex, interaction of solid particles with the water and gas present in the pores, as well as an in-depth recognition of the most basic principle in soil mechanics, the principium of effective stress.