A strategy to select the minimum volume reinforced concrete footing to support a wind loaded structure is outlined. Practical examples of such structures include highway signs and elevated steam lines. A mathematical design model for these systems is posed with constraints to assure that the structure will not overturn and that stresses in the footing and soil do not exceed the strength of the respective materials. Optimal solutions obtained by a conjugate gradient algorithm with parabolic exterior penalty functions are given and general guidelines for minimum volume footing design are summarized. The results indicate that, for lightly loaded structures, the optimal footing design tends to be a piling (large depth relative to length) while for a relatively heavily loaded structure the optimal design is more “plate like” (large length relative to depth).

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