The use of the limit state design (LSD) is not common practice among dam engineers. However, it has been applied in the design of structures since the middle of the last century, and its application in the geotechnical area has increased over the last two decades, mainly as a result of both the European pre-norm and European codes concerning geotechnical design. While it is accepted that, due to the hazard involved in dam operation, extreme caution must be exercised in the process of dam conception and safety assessment, there are no significant reasons why dam safety and serviceability cannot be analyzed using the LSD approach. This case study presents an example of the application of the LSD of the foundation of a large concrete gravity dam, in static conditions.
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