A centrifuge model study was carried out investigating the effects of the inclusion of
geogrid reinforcement in a sand layer constructed over a thin, very soft clay layer to facilitate
the construction of warehouse floors supporting product stockpiles. The use of geogrid
reinforcement allowed larger surcharge loads to be applied for a given amount of settlement
by allowing load to be spread over the footprint area of the geogrid due to the tension
membrane effect and its associated benefits. A lower-bound calculation of the load at which
the tensile reinforcement starts to function is presented. Upper-bound solutions were found to
overestimate allowable surcharge loads, as they are associated with unacceptable deformations.
The reinforcing effect of the geogrid was found to have been fully mobilised at 5% vertical
compression of the clay layer.