I'm a CE major and taking a geotech class this semester. Most of the class grade is a huge design project. This semester, we're designing a ski resort from the ground up. A couple of things I'd like to include in the upcoming phase are... 1) What % of relative compaction should the soil be below footings?? I haven't been able to find much in many many books or online. What I've seen tends to point towards 95%, but nothing solid yet.. 2) What size area has to be excavated for a footing whose base will be placed within ~1 foot of the surface? Say the footing will be 5'x5'. How much excess area has to be removed in order to place the footing? A foot or two on all sides? More? Less? I haven't been able to find anything about this. If anybody can offer any advice, that'd be great. I'm not looking for exact answers, just general advice. Even if you could point me in the right direction, such as towards regulations similar to IBC, that'd be great. Thanks very much in advance!!