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You are on page 1of 20

Harry G. Poulos Dist. MASCE

Coffey Geotechnics, 8/12 Mars Rd., Lane Cove West, 2066, Australia. <harry_poulos@coffey.com>

ABSTRACT This paper describes a process by which pile load test data can be used

to assist in the prediction of pile foundation settlements. In the interpretation of the

load test results, the critical importance of making allowance for the load test setup

and possible interaction effects is emphasized, because of the potential for overestimation of pile stiffness. Two examples are given, one of an unsuccessful use of

pile load test data for pile foundation settlement prediction, and the other of a more

successful outcome. The reasons for the unsuccessful prediction are examined. It is

found that successful prediction of the test pile settlement does not guarantee that the

overall settlement of the foundation system will be predicted successfully.

INTRODUCTION

Pile testing is commonly carried out to assess the geotechnical capacity of piles

within a foundation system or to check on the integrity of as-constructed piles. Pile

testing also has a useful role to play as a tool in the prediction of foundation

settlements, despite the doubts expressed by many engineers that the settlement of a

single pile bears little or no relationship to that of a pile group.

Ideally, pile tests should employ instrumentation to allow estimation of the

distribution of shaft and base resistance during the loading process. Interpretation of

such tests should take account of the presence of residual stresses induced during pile

installation, otherwise misleading assessments of the shaft and base resistances can be

made (for example, Fellenius et al, 2004). Unfortunately, the vast majority of pile

tests undertaken are on uninstrumented piles, and hence it is desirable to have means

of interpreting such tests in terms of their settlement behaviour.

This paper sets out a method by which load-settlement data from pile load tests can

be interpreted and used to predict the settlement of pile groups or of single piles of

different dimensions. One of the commonly employed methods of pile group

settlement analysis, the interaction factor method, is reviewed and its practical

implementation is discussed. This method is described with respect to a simple elastic

soil model, but the principles involved can also be applied to more realistic soil

models. The use of the method is illustrated via two case studies, one in which the

Page 2/20

foundation settlement prediction was poor, and the other in which the prediction was

more satisfactory. From these cases, some indications are provided of the steps that

need to be taken to avoid unsatisfactory pile group settlement predictions.

THE PROCESS OF PILE SETTLEMENT PREDICTION

The use of load-settlement data from pile load tests to predict the settlement

behaviour of a pile group or piled raft involves the following steps.

1.

2.

Interpretation of the pile load test to assess the pile and ground stiffness

characteristics, taking into account the site stratigraphy and the load test

configuration.

3.

Application of a suitable method of pile or pile group analysis into which the

following parameters are input.

4.

a.

from the pile load test data.

b.

The global ground stiffness parameters for the various strata not

influenced by the pile load test.

c.

settlements are of the correct order and consistent.

The first and last steps should be axiomatic in any proper geotechnical assessment.

Therefore, attention will be focussed below on the second and third of the above

steps.

LOAD TEST INTERPRETATION

The Ground Profile and the Interpretation Process

For the model of ground behaviour assumed in the pile analysis, the relevant ground

parameters need first to be interpreted from the measured load-settlement behaviour.

For example, if a load transfer (t-z) approach is adopted, the initial slope and

subsequent shape of the load transfer curves must be assumed and then the

parameters for the curves derived via a process of trial and error. If an elastic-plastic

soil model is assumed, then a distribution of Youngs modulus and ultimate shaft

friction with depth must be assumed and again, a trial and error process will generally

be required to obtain a fit between the load-settlement behaviour from the theoretical

model and the measured load settlement behaviour. More often than not, there will

be no instrumentation along the pile so that there is no detailed load transfer

information along the pile shaft. Thus, an assumption has to be made regarding the

distribution of soil stiffness and strength with depth. This needs to be done in relation

to the geotechnical profile in order to obtain reliable results.

Page 3/20

If instrumentation has been installed in the pile, and if proper account is taken of

residual stresses in the interpretation of the results, then the value of Youngs

modulus of the ground, Es, between each adjacent set of instrumentation can be

interpreted by use of the following relationship developed by Randolph and Wroth

(1978).

Es = (/ws)d(1+)ln(2rm/d)

where

ws

d

rm

/ws

=

=

=

=

=

=

(1)

local settlement

pile diameter

ground Poissons ratio

radius at which displacements become very small

the slope of the derived load transfer (t-z) curve. Randolph and

Wroth (1978) give an expression for rm and indicate that it is in the

order of the length of the pile.

The proper interpretation of a pile load test requires account be taken of the influence

of the test set-up on the measured load-settlement behaviour. This aspect has been

examined by a number of authors (for example, Poulos and Davis, 1980; Poulos,

2000; Kitiyodom et al, 2004).

Osterberg cell (O-cell) tests are being used increasingly for testing larger diameter

bored piles. In this case, the upper section moves upward while the lower section

moves downward; thus, each section tends to counteract the movement of the other,

again leading to the measured movements being less than the real movement. Proper

interpretation of an O-cell test therefore requires appropriate combination of the two

load-movement curves, together with consideration of the interaction between the

two sections of the test pile.

For conventional top-loading pile tests, where there are reaction piles adjacent to the

test pile, interaction between the upward moving reaction piles and the downward

moving test pile will lead to an under-registration of the test pile settlement. Failure

to take the test set-up into account in interpreting the load test results can lead to a

significant over-estimation of the real stiffness of the pile and the stiffness of the

surrounding ground. This is illustrated in the example below.

Example of Load Test Interpretation

Figure 1 shows an example of the ground profile in which a load test was carried out

on a large diameter bored pile, 2.5m in diameter and 32m long (Amini et al, 2008).

In this case, based on the shear strength data interpreted from cone penetration

testing, the ground profile has been characterised by the present author as one in

which the Youngs modulus, Es, of the soil along the shaft increased linearly with

Page 4/20

depth and was related to the undrained shear strength, su, via the relationship

Es = Asu. The value of su at the pile tip was about 100 kPa, so that the Youngs

modulus at the level of the pile tip is 0.1A MPa. The measured load-settlement curve

is shown in Figure 2. At a load of 8 MN, the measured pile head settlement was

about 1.8mm.

wn, and LL

40

60

(%)

80

100

10

10

15

15

DEPTH (m)

DEPTH (m)

20

20

25

35

35

100

150

200

CPTUcalculated

Fill

Nilcon Vane

10

Upper

stiff

silty

clay

25

30

50

20

30

10

15

0.4 x 'z

DEPTH (m)

Pl,

0

20

25

30

NKT = 17

Sand layers

35

Lower

stiff

silty

clay

40

40

Plastic Limit

45

45

Water Content

40

45

Liquid Limit

50

50

50

20,000

18,000

16,000

LOAD (KN)

14,000

12,000

10,000

8,000

QL/AE

6,000

4,000

2,000

b/120

0

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

80

90

MOVEMENT (mm)

In the test setup, there were two reaction piles, each 2.5m diameter, and 50m long,

located about 3 diameters from the test pile.

Page 5/20

In interpreting the load test data, two sets of calculations were made: one in which no

account was taken of the effects of the reaction piles, and the other in which the

interaction between the test pile and the reaction piles was allowed for. The

interpretation analyses were carried out using the computer program PIES (Poulos,

1989), and assuming that the soil behaviour was linear up to the 8MN load. PIES is a

boundary element program which computes the axial movement and load distribution

within a single pile or a pile within a group environment when subjected to axial load

at the pile head, and/or externally imposed vertical ground movements along the

length of the pile. The program employs a simplified boundary element formulation,

in which the pile is discretised into a series of cylindrical shaft elements and annular

base elements. The ground can be represented by an elastic continuum or by a series

of vertical springs, and in each case, the ground stiffness is characterised by the value

of Youngs modulus. For the elastic continuum, use is made of the classic equations

of elasticity developed by Mindlin (1936) to obtain the soil displacements at each of

the pile elements (Poulos and Davis, 1980). Non-linear pile-soil response is

incorporated either by specifying a limiting pile-soil stress at each pile element

(ultimate skin friction for shaft elements, ultimate bas pressure for base elements), or

else employing a hyperbolic relationship between soil stiffness and stress level at

each pile element.

Figure 3 shows the computed relationship between the assumed Youngs modulus at

the level of the pile tip and the pile head settlement at a load of 8MN, for the two sets

of calculations. By fitting the computed settlements to the measured settlement

of 1.8 mm, the following backfigured values of Youngs modulus at the pile tip, Esb,

are obtained.

Fig. 3

Page 6/20

1.

Ignoring the effects of the reaction piles: Esb = 400 MPa (i..e., the factor

A=4000).

2.

Accounting for the effects of the reaction piles: Esb = 270 MPa (A = 2700)

The latter value is considered to be more appropriate, and it can be seen that ignoring

the effect of the reaction piles results in an over-estimate of the soil modulus by

almost 50%. Consequently, pile group settlements based on this erroneous value of

Youngs modulus would tend to be under-estimated.

Use of Backfigured Parameters

Once the ground parameters have been interpreted from the test pile load-settlement

curve, and checked for reasonableness (e.g. via empirical correlations with in-situ or

available laboratory data), they may be used in at least two ways.

1.

but not essentially, of similar length to the test pile. The same theory and ground

model used to interpret the load test is used for this purpose.

2.

To predict the settlement of pile groups. Some of the available methods are set

out below.

It is now well recognized that the settlement of a pile group can differ significantly

from that of a single pile at the same average load level. There are a number of

approaches commonly adopted for the estimation of the settlement of pile groups.

Methods which employ the concept of interaction factors and the principle of

superposition (e.g. Poulos and Davis, 1980).

take account of group interaction effects.

The settlement ratio method, in which the settlement of a single pile at the

average load level is multiplied by a group settlement ratio Rs, which reflects the

effects of group interaction.

equivalent raft acting at some characteristic depth along the piles.

The equivalent pier method, in which the pile group is represented by a pier

containing the piles and the soil between them. The pier is treated as a single pile

of equivalent stiffness in order to compute the average settlement of the group.

Numerical methods such as the finite element method and the finite difference

method (such as FLAC). While earlier work employed two-dimensional

analyses, it is now less uncommon for full three-dimensional analyses to be

employed (e.g., Katzenbach et al., 2000).

Page 7/20

In the following section, the interaction factor method of analysis will be described

briefly, and then some developments will be discussed with respect to the earlier

application of this method.

The Interaction Factor Method for Pile Groups

One of the common means of analyzing pile group behaviour is via the interaction

factor method described by Poulos and Davis (1980). In this method, referring to

Figure 4, the settlement wi of a pile i within a group of n piles is given as follows.

n

w = (P S )

i j = l av 1 ij

where

Pav =

S1 =

ij =

(2)

settlement of a single pile under unit load (i.e., the pile flexibility)

interaction factor for pile i due to any other pile (j) within the

group, corresponding to the spacing sij between piles i and j.

Eq. 2 can be written for each pile in the group, thus giving a total of n equations,

which together with the equilibrium equation, can be solved for two simple cases.

1.

Known load on each pile, in which case the settlement of each pile can be

computed directly. In this case, there will usually be differential settlements

among the piles in the group.

2.

A rigid (non-rotating) pile cap, in which case all piles settle equally. In this case,

there will be a uniform settlement but a non-uniform distribution of load in the

piles.

In the original approach, the interaction factors were computed from boundary

element analysis and plotted in graphical form. They usually took the form of plots of

interaction factor versus the ratio of pile spacing to diameter (s/d). Also, the

interaction factors were applied to the total flexibility S1 of the pile, including both

elastic and non-elastic components of the single pile settlement.

Pile i

Plan of

pile

group

sij

Pile j

Page 8/20

In recent years, simplified or closed-form expressions for the interaction factors have

been developed. For example, Mandolini and Viggiani (1997) have developed the

following simplified expressions for the interaction factor, in one of the following

forms.

where

A (s/d) B

(3a)

{C + D ln (s/d)}

(3b)

For four typical field cases analyzed by Mandolini and Viggiani, the values of A

ranged between 0.57 and 0.98, while the range of B was 0.60 to 1.20. For one other

case, values of C= 1.0 and D = -0.26 were computed. They also assumed that no

interaction occurred beyond a certain limiting value of pile spacing. Poulos (2008)

gives values of A and B for a wide range of cases.

The original interaction factors (Poulos and Davis, 1980) were based on the

assumption that the soil was a homogeneous elastic medium, having a constant

modulus with depth. This was clearly a great simplification of reality, and in

subsequent years, some significant improvements and extensions have been made to

the original interaction factor method, among the most important being:

1.

2.

The consideration of the influence of the bearing stratum on which the pile is

founded.

3.

The consideration of the fact that the soil between the piles may be stiffer than at

the pile-soil interface, because of the small strain levels existing between the

piles.

4.

5.

6.

The application of the interaction factor to only the elastic component of the

single pile flexibility (e.g., Randolph, 1994), and the consequent incorporation of

non-linearity of single pile response within the interaction factor for the effect of

a pile on itself (Mandolini and Viggiani, 1997).

Poulos (2006) has examined the effects of these factors and has found that, in general,

their consideration leads to interaction factors that are smaller than those obtained for

a homogeneous elastic medium. As a consequence, ignoring these factors will tend to

result in an overestimation of the group settlement.

Page 9/20

PREDICTION

Emirates Twin Towers, Dubai

Introduction

The Emirates Project is a twin tower development in Dubai, the United Arab

Emirates. The towers are triangular in plan form with a face dimension of

approximately 50 m to 54 m. The taller Office Tower has 52 floors and rises 355 m

above ground level, while the shorter Hotel Tower is 305 m tall. The foundation

system for both towers involved the use of large diameter piles in conjunction with a

raft. Poulos and Davids (2005) give more details of this project.

Geotechnical Conditions

The geotechnical investigations revealed that the stratigraphy was relatively uniform

across the whole site, so that it was considered adequate to characterize the site with a

single geotechnical model. The groundwater level was relatively close to the surface.

The geotechnical model for foundation design under static loading conditions was

based on the relevant available in-situ and laboratory test data. The ultimate skin

friction values were based largely on laboratory data from constant normal stiffness

(CNS) direct shear tests, while the ultimate end bearing values for the piles were

assessed on the basis of correlations with UCS data (Reese and ONeill, 1988) and

also previous experience with similar cemented carbonate deposits (Poulos, 1988). In

order to provide some guidance on the expected behaviour of the piles during the test

pile program, Class A predictions of the load-deflection response of the test piles

were carried out and communicated to the main consultant prior to the

commencement of testing.

The geotechnical model used for the test pile settlement prediction is summarised in

Table 1. The values of Youngs modulus were derived from the available field and

laboratory data, and also correlations with uniaxial compressive strength.

For the static compression and tension tests on the piles, the settlement predictions

were made using the computer program PIES.

Pile Load Tests

A program of load testing was undertaken, including compression, tension and lateral

load tests on piles of 0.9m in diameter. Attention will be focussed here on the

compression tests and their use for settlement prediction for the Hotel tower.

Figure 5 shows the test setup for the 0.9 m diameter test piles. For the compression

tests, the loading was supplied by a series of jacks, while the reaction was provided

by 22 anchors drilled into the underlying calcisiltite. The anchors were connected to

the test pile via two crowns located above the jacks and load cells.

Page 10/20

Unit

Description

Thickness m

Estimated Drained

Modulus Value

MPa

Relative

Stiffness

E/E3b

calcarenite bands

30

0.06

calcarenite bands

100

0.2

Calcareous sandstone

15

500

1.0

Silty sand

10

100

0.2

Calcisiltite

20

400

0.8

Calcisiltite

15

80

0.16

Calcisiltite

Large

600

1.2

Working platform

(-0.50)

(-1.50)

Ground anchors

(-2.00)

(-5.00)

900

(-10.0)

1285

203

(-16.0)

Reference beams

(-20.0)

at the ground level

(-25.0)

No. 1 Extensometer

(-30.0)

(-36.0)

(-40.0)

Unit 4 - Calcisiltite

Comparisons between predicted and measured test pile behaviour were made after the

results of the tests were made available. Figure 6 compares the measured and

predicted load-settlement curves for Test P3(H) for the Hotel tower, and reveals a fair

Page 11/20

measure of agreement in the early stages. The predicted settlements exceed the

measured values, and the maximum load of 30 MN reached exceeded the estimated

ultimate load capacity of about 23 MN.

Re-Interpretation of Load Test Data

For the purposes of the present paper, the load test data shown in Figure 6 was reinterpreted by fitting the calculated settlement at a representative working load of

12,000 kN to the observed settlement. The calculated settlements used different

values of modulus of the adopted reference layer (Unit 3), assuming that the modulus

values of the various strata had the same relative values as those shown in Table 1.

The program PIES was used for this fitting process, and linear soil behaviour was

assumed. No account was taken of the effect of the reaction anchors, as the bond

lengths were founded well below the pile tips and were assessed to have negligible

effect on the measured settlement.

Figure 7 shows the relationship between the computed settlement and the assumed

value of modulus of the reference layer (Unit 3). It can be seen that, to fit the

measured value of 10.2 mm, this reference value needs to be 500 MPa, which

(coincidentally) is the value selected in the original assessment.

30000

Predicted

Measured

25000

20000

15000

10000

5000

0

10

20

30

Settlement (mm)

40

Page 12/20

of reference layer. Test Pile P3H.

Calculated Settlement of Foundation System

Using the derived reference value of modulus of 500 MPa for unit 3, and the

corresponding relative modulus values shown in that table for the other layers, the

final settlement of the foundation system was computed using the program DEFPIG

(Poulos, 1990). In deriving the interaction factors for the settlement calculation, two

different assumptions were made:

Case 1: The ground profile was as shown in Table 1, with the depth of Unit 7 being

very large and the modulus of this layer remaining constant with depth;

Case 2: The ground profile was as shown in Table 1, but the modulus of Unit 7 was

taken to be significantly larger, relative to that of Unit 3, because of the lower strain

levels at depth compared to those near the piles. In addition, allowance was made for

the soil between the piles being stiffer (by a factor of 5) because of the decreasing

strain level with increasing distance from the pile-soil interface.

The relationship between the computed interaction factors and the relative pile

spacing is shown in Figure 8. It is clear that the interaction factors for Case 2, which

are considered to be more realistic, are significantly lower than for Case 1.

Table 2 shows the final maximum computed settlement for the two assumptions

made. Measurements were available only for a limited period during the construction

process, up to mid-October 1998, and at that stage, the estimated load on the

foundation was about 54% of the dead load and about 48% of the design (dead plus

live) load. Thus, also shown in Table 2 are the calculated settlements when

approximately 48% of the design load had been applied, and the corresponding

Page 13/20

measured settlements. The use of the Case 1 interaction factors leads to substantially

larger computed settlements than for the Case 2 factors. The latter appear to be in

much better agreement with the measurements than for Case 1. A simple equivalent

raft analysis indicated a maximum settlement of 56mm for Case 1, again indicating

that the interaction factors used for this case were too large.

Fig. 8

This example thus indicates that, even if the single pile settlement is derived from the

load test data and hence is computed accurately, the computed group settlement can

vary widely, depending on the assumptions made in deriving the pile settlement

interaction factors. It seems essential that, if an accurate group settlement prediction

is to be made, account be taken of the fact that the ground stiffness increases with

decreasing strain level, and therefore with increasing depth and with increasing

distance from the pile-ground interface. It is also essential to carry out simple

analyses to check the results of more complex computer analyses.

Burj Khalifa , Dubai

Introduction

The Burj Khalifa (previously called the Burj Dubai before its official opening in

January 2010) is a 828m tall high rise tower, with a podium development around the

base of the tower, including a 4-6 storey garage. It is currently the worlds tallest

building, and is founded on a 3.7m thick raft supported on 194 bored piles, 1.5 m in

diameter, extending approximately 50m below the base of the raft. The geotechnical

aspects of this tower have been described by Poulos and Bunce (2008).

Page 14/20

Quantity

Computed Values

Measured Values

Case 1

Case 2

Uniform ground

conditions below

pile tips

Stiffer ground

conditions below

pile tips and

between piles

Maximum Final

Settlement mm

98

28

Minimum Final

Settlement mm

65

17

Maximum

Settlement at

October 1998

47*

14*

10

Minimum

Settlement at

October 1998

31*

8*

The ground conditions comprise a horizontally stratified subsurface profile in which

medium dense to very loose granular silty sands (Marine Deposits) are underlain by

successions of very weak to weak sandstone interbedded with very weakly cemented

sand, gypsiferous fine grained sandstone/siltstone and weak to moderately weak

conglomerate/calcisiltite. Table 3 shows the geotechnical profile revealed by the

ground investigations, below the level of the raft base, which was about 10m below

natural ground level. Table 3 also shows the values of long-term Youngs modulus

derived from a re-assessment of the available field and laboratory data. Also shown is

the Youngs modulus of each layer, relative to that of the arbitrarily chosen reference

layer, the calcareous sandstone of Layer 3b.

Pile Load Test Program

The details of the piles tested within this program are summarized in Table 4. The

main purpose of the tests was to assess the general load-settlement behaviour of piles

of the anticipated length below the tower, and to verify the design assumptions. Each

of the test piles was different, allowing various factors to be investigated, as follows.

Page 15/20

Soil

layer

Estimated

Drained

Description

Thickness

Modulus

Value (MPa )

[m]

Relative

Stiffness

E/E3b

3a

Sand/ Silt with frequent

sandstone bands

8.00

570

0.63

3b

Sandstone

2.00

900

1.00

Sandstone/ calcareous Sandstone

7.50

750

0.83

5a

Calcisiltite/ Conglomeritic

Calcisiltite

32.50

610

0.68

5b

Calcisiltite/ Conglomeritic

Calcisiltite

19.00

690

0.77

Conglomerate strata

17.15

630

0.70

The computer program NAPRA (Mandolini and Viggiani, 1997) was used to carry

out the back-analyses of compression tests on piles P1, P2 and P4, using the

geotechnical model shown in Table 3. In these back-analyses, the reference modulus

of Layer 3b was changed until the calculated settlement at a representative load level

agreed with the measured settlement at that load. The relative modulus values shown

in the last column of Table 3 were used for each of the analyses. For simplicity, linear

elastic analyses were carried out, assuming that Youngs modulus for the piles, Ep,

was 31.8 GPa.

Page 16/20

Pile No.

Pile

Pile

Diam.m Length m

P1

P2

P3

P4

1.5

1.5

1.5

0.9

45.15

55.15

35.15

47.10

Side

Grouted

?

No

No

Yes

No

P5

P6

P7A

0.9

0.9

0.9

47.05

36.51

37.51

Yes

No

No

Test Type

Compression

Compression

Compression

Compression

(cyclic)

Compression

Tension

Lateral

Figure 9 shows the configuration of the test piles and the reaction piles. For

comparison purposes, the three load tests were back-analysed both taking into

account, and then not taking into account, interaction between test piles and reaction

piles. The effect of this interaction is to decrease the measured settlement of the test

pile, and thus to give an overestimation of pile head stiffness.

(b) Pile P4

Back-calculated values of E3b, the Youngs Modulus of the reference layer (Layer

3b), are reported in Table 5.

From Table 5, the following points can be noted.

1. The consideration of interaction between the test pile and the reaction piles

results in backfigured modulus values which are less than those for which interaction

has been ignored. Thus, there would be a tendency to under-estimate foundation

settlements if interaction effects are ignored.

2.

Page 17/20

Back-calculated

E3b (MPa)

Interaction

Accounted for

P1

350

650

P2

700

1200

P4

850

1100

Test Pile

Figure 16 shows a plan of the piled raft foundation system that was analysed using

the program NAPRA (Mandolini and Viggiani, 1997). The columns and rows in the

mesh were spaced 1.7 m apart and the actual shape of the raft was represented by a

piecewise approximation.

For the prediction of the long-term foundation group settlement, on the basis of the

back-calculated values in Table 5, Youngs modulus values of the reference layer of

825 MPa (for the case where the modulus is correctly interpreted and reaction pile

interaction is considered) and 1200 MPa (for the case where the modulus is

incorrectly interpreted and reaction pile interaction was not considered) were

adopted. The piles were founded in Layer 5a, and the ground below layer 6 was

assumed to be very stiff. The Youngs modulus of the raft was assumed to be

31.8GPa and the analysis was simplified by assuming that each pile carried its

nominal working load of 23.2 MN.

Page 18/20

Table 6 summarises the results of the NAPRA analysis. It can be seen that the

computed settlement using the incorrectly-interpreted Youngs modulus values is

about 25% less than that using the correctly-interpreted Youngs modulus values. It is

clear that the incorrect interpretation of load test data can lead to a significant underestimation of group settlement.

Table 6

Interpretation

Method

Maximum

Settlement mm

Minimum

Settlement mm

Maximum

Differential

Settlement mm

Correct,

considering

reaction pile

interaction

58

28

30

Incorrect, ignoring

reaction pile

interaction

43

20

22

settlement of between 59 and 97mm, depending on the assumptions made about the

modulus of the layers 5b and 6 well below the pile tip. The lower value is in good

agreement with the value of 58mm shown in Table 6.

The latest settlement measurements to which the author has access were made in

March 2009, and it was indicated that there had been very little increase in settlement

in the year prior to that date. The maximum settlement at that time (when almost all

the dead load was on the foundation) was about 44mm, while the minimum

settlement was about 22mm. If it is assumed that these settlements represent about

80% of the long-term settlement under dead plus live load plus long-term creep, then

the estimated long term maximum settlement would be about 55mm while the longterm differential settlement would be about 28mm. These latter values are in good

agreement with the values in Table 6 for the correct test pile interpretation.

It is interesting to note that Poulos and Bunce (2008) quoted other early estimates of

long-term settlement based on various methods of analysis, carried out before the

load test data became available. For the case of a relatively flexible pile cap, these

settlement estimates ranged between 66 and 78mm. While these values are of a

similar order to the values in Table 6, they were derived using estimates of soil

stiffness from field and laboratory test data. The proper interpretation of the

subsequent load test data provided a means of estimating more closely the actual

settlements.

Page 19/20

CONCLUSIONS

The availability of pile load test data can be an important component of a settlement

prediction for a piled foundation. However, even with such data available, there is no

guarantee that the settlement prediction will be accurate. The factors that must be

considered for an acceptably accurate settlement prediction include the following.

1.

account of the effects of any interaction effects within the pile load test setup, for

example, the interaction between the test pile and the reaction piles in a

conventional load test setup, or the interaction between the upper and lower parts

of an Osterberg cell test.

2.

The relative stiffness values for the ground model used in the interpretation of

the load test should reflect those derived from the ground investigation.

3.

The pile load test must be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with the

method to be used for the foundation settlement prediction. For example, if linear

elastic theory is to be used for the prediction, then modulus values at the average

serviceability load should be derived from the load tests.

4.

The geotechnical model used for the overall foundation settlement assessment

should take some account of the non-linear behaviour of the soil, Depending on

the method of settlement prediction employed, it may be necessary to make

allowances for the fact that the ground stiffness will tend to increase with

decreasing distance from the piles, because of the decreasing strain level.

5.

The behaviour of a single test pile may not reflect the influence of deeper

compressible layers which the group will influence but which are not

significantly influenced by the test pile. While this has not been a factor in the

two cases described in this paper, it can be a major factor in some cases, for

example as described by Golder and Osler (1968).

6.

with simple calculations to try and ensure that the complexities involved do not

overwhelm the fundamentals of the problem.

The study and evaluation of case histories, and comparisons between predicted and

observed settlements, can be very valuable. In the two cases described in this paper,

the understanding gained from the failure to accurately predict the settlement of the

Emirates towers was used to obtain more satisfactory settlement predictions for the

Burj Khalifa.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The author gratefully acknowledges the significant contribution to the analysis of the

Burj Khalifa made by Dr. Vincenzo Abagnara, and the helpful comments of Prof.

John Small.

Page 20/20

REFERENCES

Amini, A., Fellenius, B.H., Sabbagh, M, Naesgaard, E., and Buehler, M. (2008). Pile

loading tests at Golden Ears Bridge. Preprint, 61st Canadian Geotechnical

Conference, Edmonton, September 2008.

Fellenius, B.H., Harris, D.E. and Anderson, D.A. (2004). Static loading test on

a 45 m long pipe pile in Sandpoint, Idaho. Canadian Geotechnical Journal

41(4) 613-628.

Golder, H.Q. and Osler, J.C. (1968). Settlement of a furnace foundation, Sorel,

Quebec. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 5(1) 46-56.

Katzenbach, R., Arslan, U. and Moorman, C. (2000). Piled raft foundation projects

in Germany. Design Applications of Raft Foundations, Ed. J.A. Hemsley,

Ch. 13, 323-392.

Kitiyodom, P., Matsumoto, T. and Kanefusa, N. (2004). Influence of reaction piles

on the behaviour of a test pile in static load testing. Canadian Geotechnical

Journal 41(3) 408 420

Mandolini, A. and Viggiani, C. (1997). Settlement of piled foundations.

Gotechnique 47(4) No 3, 791-816.

Poulos, H.G. (1988). The Mechanics of Calcareous Sediments. John Jaeger

Memorial Lecture, Australian Geomechanics, Special Edition, 8-41.

Poulos, H.G. (1989). Pile behaviour - Theory and application. 29th Rankine

Lecture. Gotechnique 39(3) 365-415.

Poulos, H.G. (1990). DEFPIG Users Manual. Centre for Geotechnical Research,

University of Sydney, Australia.

Poulos, H.G. (2000). Pile testing from the designers viewpoint. STATNAMIC

Loading Test 98, Kusakabe, Kuwabara & Matsumoto (eds), Balkema,

Rotterdam, 3-21.

Poulos, H.G. (2006). Pile Group Settlement Estimation Research to Practice.

Keynote Paper, Foundation Analysis and Design, Innovative Methods. Ed. R.L.

Parsons et al. ASCE GSP 153, 1-22.

Poulos, H.G. (2008). Simulation of the performance and remediation of imperfect

pile groups. Deep Foundations on Bored and Auger Piles, BAP V, van Impe and

van Impe (Eds.), Taylor and Francis, London, 143-154.

Poulos, H.G. and Bunce, G. (2008). Foundation design for the Burj Dubai the

worlds tallest building. Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Case Histories in Geot. Eng.,

Arlington, VA, Paper 1.47, CD volume.

Poulos, H.G. and Davids, A.J. (2005). Foundation Design for the Emirates Twin

Towers, Dubai. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 42(3) 716-730.

Poulos, H.G. and Davis, E.H. (1980). Pile foundation analysis and design. John

Wiley, New York.

Randolph, M.F. (1994). Design methods for pile groups and piled rafts. Proc. 13th

Int. Conf. SMFE Vol. 5, pp. 61-82.

Randolph, M.F. and Wroth, C.P. (1978). Analysis of Deformation of Vertically

Loaded Piles. Jnl. Geot. Eng., ASCE, 104(GT12) 1465-1488.

Reese, L.C. and ONeill, M.W. (1988). Drilled Shafts: Construction Procedures and

Design Methods. Pub. No. FHWA-HI-88-042, US Dept. Transportation.

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