Again armed with this knowledge the engineer should exploit the conditions to his advantage.
For example, the stiffness of a foundation should only be sufﬁcient to distribute the applied load down to a suitable bearing capacity and accommodate the resulting settlement, since the bending moment developed would be much smaller on the ﬂexible foundation than the rigid foundation. The ﬂexible foundations will result in higher pressures directly under the load and when the stiffness and pressures are taken into account the resulting bending moments produced are much smaller.
Fig. 10.14 Foundation stiffness and resulting ground pressure.