This manual provides guidance on how to use the cone penetration test (CPT) for site investigation and foundation design. The manual has been organized into three volumes. Volume 1 covers the execution of CPT-based site investigations and presents a comprehensive literature review of CPT-based soil behavior type (SBT) charts and estimation of soil variables from CPT results. Volume 2 covers the methods and equations needed for CPT data interpretation and foundation design in different soil types, while Volume 3 includes several example problems (based on instrumented case histories) with detailed, step-by-step calculations to demonstrate the application of the design methods. The methods included in the manual are current, reliable, and demonstrably the best available for Indiana geology based on extensive CPT research carried out during the past two decades. The design of shallow and pile foundations in the manual is based on the load and resistance factor design (LRFD) framework. The manual also indicates areas of low reliability and limited knowledge, which can be used as indicators for future research.

Report Number



cone penetration test, soil behavior type, shallow foundation, pile foundation, load and resistance factor design

SPR Number


Performing Organization

Joint Transportation Research Program

Publisher Place

West Lafayette, IN

Date of this Version