In order to tackle the difficulties encountered in embankment design and construction, a new design method for embankments on soft clays is proposed in this paper. The method approaches to the problem with the philosophy of allowing controllable failures at small depths. Foundation soils are scanned through by applying a limit equilibrium approach specifically developed for the embankment problem and considering different slip planes at various depths. The purpose is to find the depth and the location of the failure region which gives a safety factor value of unity and also values of the safety factors which were mobilized at different depths under an embankment of considered height. Numerical applications of the method are compared with the results of two different commercial software which are developed with finite element and limit state methods.