You are on page 1of 10


Generally structure is analysed and designed assuming fixity at their support, In the design process,
ground condition (soil type) play an important role in terms of seismic loads transferred to
foundation and foundation capacity. Estimation of seismic loads, for a typical multi-storied building
(G+8) considered being located in seismic zone IV, for medium soil according to Indian standard

In the present work various aspects of modelling of pile foundation with different type of structure
in SAP 2000 are studied. The work is started with Estimation of loads on the structure for this
purpose selected the seismic zone(Z), Importance factor (I) and response reduction factor (R) and
applied Response Spectrum Analysis in SAP 2000 and got the loads at foundation level. And for the
purpose of number of piles and diameter of pile calculated the Capacity of the pile by Static formula
and compared. Then laterally loaded piles are studied, in this laterally loaded pile is analysed using
SAP 2000. Spring constant for laterally loaded piles are calculated. This laterally loaded pile with
different loads and diameter are compared for deflection, and deflection curve is compared. Then
G+8 storey building is studied using spring constant in SAP2000.

Also, group of piles is studied for efficiency of pile group. The efficiency of pile group is by Converse-
Labara method because it considers block capacity of pile. The G+8 storey building is analysed with
SAP2000 using pile groups.

KEYWORDS : Load carrying capacity,pile foundation,sesmic design


The major problem concerning the seismic resistant design of pile foundations is the presence of
liquefiable soils in the foundation region. Liquefiable soil layers alter the pile capacity and also can
cause large lateral loads on pile foundations. Piles driven through a weak, potentially liquefiable, soil
layer to a stronger layer not only have to carry vertical loads from the superstructure, but must also
be able to resist horizontal loads and bending moments induced by lateral movements if the weak
layer liquefies. Thus, it is very essential to investigate the liquefaction susceptibility of sub surface
soil layers before proceed for the seismic design. Semi empirical method recommended by Idriss and
Boulanger (2004) is being followed to evaluating the liquefaction potential.


Timber piles

Timber piles are tree trunks that have had their branches and bark carefully trimmed off. The
maximum length of most timber piles is 30-65 ft (10-20 m). To qualify for use as a pile, the timber
should be straight, sound, and without any defects.

Concrete Pile

Concrete piles may be precast, prestressed, cast in place, or of composite construction

Precast concrete piles may be made using ordinary reinforcement or they may be prestressed.
Composite piles

In general, a composite pile is made up of two or more sections of different materials or different file
types. The upper portion could be eased cast-in-place concrete combined with a lower portion of
timber, steel H or concrete filled steel pipe pile. These piles have limited application and are
employed under special conditions.

Wooden piles

Timber piles are made of tree trunks driven with small end as a point

Maximum length: 35 m; optimum length: 9 - 20m

Max load for usual conditions: 450 kN; optimum load range = 80 - 240 kN

Steel piles

Steel piles generally are either pile piles or rolled steel H-section piles. Pipe piles can be driven into
the ground with their ends open or closed. Wide-flange and I-section steel beams can also be used
as piles. However, H-section piles are usually preferred because their wed and flange thicknesses are
equal. In wide-flange and I-section beams, the wed thicknesses are smaller than the thicknesses of
the flange.


Foundation is the most important structure of the building. In this project report dealing with the
most important structure of the building that is the foundation. In this project the focus on the
seismic design of the pile foundation for the building.

(i) Any structure is generally considered to have two main portions.

(ii) The superstructure and

(iii) The substructure

Introduction to pile foundation

Piles are structural members that are made of steel, concrete, and/or timber. They are used to build
pile foundations, which are deep and which cost more than shallow foundations. Despite the cost,
the use of piles often is necessary to ensure structural safety. The following list identifies some of
the conditions that require pile foundations (Vesic, 1977).

When the upper soil layer(s) is (are) highly compressible and too weak to support the load
transmitted by the superstructure, piles are used to transmit the load to underlying bedrocks or a
stronger soil layer, as shown in figure 1.1a. When bedrock is not encountered at a reasonable depth
below the ground surface, piles are used to transmit the structural load to the soil gradually. The
resistance to the applied structural load is derived mainly from the frictional resistance developed at
the soil-pile interface (figure 1. 1b).

When subjected to horizontal forces (see figure 1.1c), pile foundations resist by bending while still
supporting the vertical load transmitted by the superstructure. This type of situation is generally
encountered in the design and construction of earth-retaining structures and foundations of tall
structures that are subject to high wind and/or earthquake forces.

In many cases, expansive and collapsible soils may be present at the site of a proposed structure.
These soils may extend to a great depth below the ground surface. Expansive soils swell and shrink
as the moisture content increases and decreases, and the swelling pressure of such soils can be
considerable. If shallow foundations are used in such circumstances, the structure may suffer
considerable damage. However, pile foundations may be considered as an alternative when pies are
extended beyond the active zone, which swells and shrinks (figure 1.1d). Bridge abutments and piers
are usually constructed over pile foundations to avoid the possible loss of bearing capacity that a
shallow foundation might suffer because of soil erosion at the ground surface.

Types of Piles and their Structural Characteristics

Piles can be classified on the basis of following characteristics:

1. Mechanism of Load Transfer

2. Method of Installation

3. Type of Materials

Disadvantages of using timber piles:

Difficult to splice, vulnerable to damage in hard driving, vulnerable to decay unless treated with
preservatives (If timber is below permanent Water table it will apparently last forever), if subjected
to alternate wetting & drying, the useful life will be short, partly embedded piles or piles above
Water table are susceptible to damage from wood borers and other insects unless treated.

Advantages of using timber piles:

Advantages: Comparatively low initial cost, permanently submerged piles are resistant to decay,
easy to handle, best suited for friction piles in granular material.

Steel Piles
• Maximum length practically unlimited, optimum length: 12-50m

• Load for usual conditions = maximum allowable stress x cross-sectional area

• The members are usually rolled HP shapes/pipe piles. Wide flange beams & I beams
proportioned to withstand the hard-driving stress to which the pile may be subjected. In HP pile the
flange thickness = web thickness, piles are either welded or seamless steel pipes, which may be
driven either open-ended or closed end. Closed-end piles are usually filled with concrete after

• Open end piles may be filled but this is not often necessary.

Advantages of steel piles:

Easy to splice, high capacity, small displacement, able to penetrate through light obstructions, best
suited for end bearing on a rock, reduce allowable capacity for corrosive locations or provide
corrosion protection.


• Vulnerable to corrosion.

• HP section may be damaged/deflected by major obstruction

Concrete Piles

Concrete piles may be precast, prestressed, cast in place, or of composite construction

Precast concrete piles may be made using ordinary reinforcement or they may be prestressed

Precast piles using ordinary reinforcement are designed to resist bending stresses during picking up
& transport to the site & bending moments from lateral loads and to provide sufficient resistance to
vertical loads and any tension forces developed during driving. Prestressed piles are formed by
tensioning high strength steel prestress cables, and casting the concrete about the cable. When the
concrete hardens, the prestress cables are cut, with the tension force in the cables now producing
compressive stress in the concrete pile. It is common to higher-strength concrete (35 to 55 MPa) in
prestressed piles because of the large initial compressive stresses from prestressing. Prestressing the
piles, tend to counteract any tension stresses during either handling or driving.


• High load capacities, corrosion resistance can be attained, hard-driving possible

• Cylinder piles, in particular, are suited for bending resistance.

• Cast in place concrete piles is formed by drilling a hole in the ground & filling it with
concrete. The hole may be drilled or formed by driving a shell or casing into the ground.

• Concrete piles are considered permanent, however, certain soils (usually organic) contain
materials that may form acids that can damage the concrete.

• Salt water may also adversely react with the concrete unless special precautions are taken
when the mix proportions are designed. Additionally, concrete piles used for marine structures may
undergo abrasion from wave action and floating debris in the water.

• Difficult to handle unless prestressed, high initial cost, considerable displacement,

prestressed piles are difficult to splice.

• Alternate freezing-thawing can cause concrete damage in any exposed situation.

Composite piles

• In general, a composite pile is made up of two or more sections of different materials or

different file types. The upper portion could be eased cast-in-place concrete combined with a lower
portion of timber, steel H or concrete filled steel pipe pile. These piles have limited application and
are employed under special conditions.

• The upper and lower portions of composite piles are made of different materials. For
example, composite piles may be made of steel and concrete or timber and concrete. Steel and
concrete piles consist of a lower portion of steel and an upper portion of cast-in-place concrete. This
type of pile is the one used when the length of the pile required for adequate bearing exceeds the
capacity of simple cast-in-place concrete piles. Timber and concrete piles usually consist of a lower
portion of timber pile below the permanent water table and an upper portion of concrete. In any
case, forming proper joints between two dissimilar materials is difficult, and, for that reason,
composite piles are not widely used.

Estimation of loads on the structure

As a case study, a model of a typical multi-storied residential building is considered and the seismic
action on it is determined for the different seismic zones in India and the different ground types. The
procedures, as per IS 1893 is followed to estimate the seismic loads on the structure. The structure is
then analyzed with the structural and seismic loads using the computer program SAP2000 to
determining the loads that are transferred to the foundations. Among different foundation loads,
the maximum loaded foundation was considered for the foundation design. For an efficient seismic
design of the foundation, it is important to estimate the loads that are being transferred to the
foundation during an earthquake. These loads depend on the seismic loads that act on the
superstructure during an earthquake. Different codes around the world propose different methods
of estimation of these seismic loads on the superstructure. The methods proposed by the Indian
standard (IS 1893) reviewed and used to estimate the seismic loads. A case study of a typical multi-
storied structure is considered as a model superstructure for the purpose.

Model of the Building and Various Parameters Considered

As a case study, to estimate the seismic loads that act on a structure during an earthquake, a typical
multi-storied building frame model is considered. The building frame is a moment resisting frame
with reinforced concrete members. The plan and elevation of the concrete building frame
considered are shown in Fig. 5.1. The parameters used for the modeling of the building were based
on the values used in general practice during the construction of a residential complex. Suitable
cross-sectional dimensions of beams and columns, as well as the thickness of slabs and unreinforced
brick masonry infill walls, were assumed (all in accordance with the Indian standards). The grade of
concrete and the grade of steel were considered to be M25 and Fe415 respectively. The modeling of
the building without the staircase was done in the computer program SAP2000 with the assumed
geometry and material properties.

Estimation of pile capacity

The pile load capacity calculation is done to find the ultimate load the pile foundation can support
when loaded. It is also known as the bearing capacity of piles. The pile load capacity calculation is
done for single pile or a group of piles based on the requirement of a number of piles for the given
load or size of foundation. We will discuss here the load carrying capacity of both single pile and
group of piles.

Estimating Pile Length

Selecting the type of pile to be used and estimating its necessary length are fairly difficult tasks that
require good judgment. In addition to the classification given in section 2, piles can be divided into
three major categories, depending on their lengths and the mechanisms of load transfer to the soil:
(a) point bearing piles, (b) friction piles, and (c) compaction piles.

Point Bearing Piles

If soil-boring records establish the presence of bedrocks or rock-like material at a site within a
reasonable depth, piles can be extended to the rock surface. (Figure 4.1 a). In this case, the ultimate
capacity of the piles depends entirely on the load-bearing capacity of the underlying material; thus
the piles are called point bearing piles. In most of these cases, the necessary length of the pile can be
fairly well established.

Fig (a) and (b) Point bearing piles; (c) friction piles

Friction Piles

These piles are called friction piles because most of the resistance is derived from skin friction.
However, the term friction pile, although used often in the literature, is a misnomer: in clayey soils,
the resistance to the applied load is also caused by adhesion.The length of friction of piles depends
on the shear strength of the soil, the applied load, and the pile size. To determine the necessary
lengths of these piles, an engineer needs a good understanding of soil-pile interaction, good
judgment, and experience.

Compaction Piles

Under certain circumstances, piles are driven in granular soils to achieve proper compaction of soil
close to the ground surface. These piles are called compaction piles. The length of compaction piles
depends on factors such as

(a) Relative density of the soil before compaction,

(b) Desired relative density of the soil after compaction, and

(c) The required depth of compaction. These piles are generally short; however, some field tests are
necessary to determine a reasonable

Factor of safety for static formula based on soil properties

• Factor of safety to be used in static formula should depend on many factors

• Reliability of soil parameter used for calculations

• The manner in which load is transferred to the soil

• The importance of the structure

• Allowable total and differential settlement tolerated by the structure.

• IS 2911 recommends a minimum factor of safety of 2.5 for piles founded in soil using reliable
soil parameter in static formula. Factor of safety of 3 are to be used for socketed piles in rock.

Laterally Loaded Piles

Piles in a group are often subjected to both axial and lateral loads. Designers in the mid-1960s
usually assumed piles could carry only axial loads; lateral loads were carried by batter piles, where
the lateral load was a component of axial load in those piles. Graphical methods were used to find
the individual pile loads in the group, and the resulting force polygon could close only if there were
batter piles for the lateral loads.

Geometric modeling of pile group in any FEM software

The pile can be directly modeled in any FEM software by providing its geometry and material
property as input. The effect of soil can be considered by assuming it as a number if un-damped
individual springs.

The elastic foundation beam method presented by Winkler is extensively used in analyzing the pile
subjected to lateral loads. The pile is investigated in terms of (1) Horizontal stiffness of soil
surrounding the pile, and (2) soil to pile vertical stiffness interaction (Adhikari et al.). The FEM model
used in the pile group analysis is presented in Fig. 5.3.The pile can be modeled as beam element and
surrounding soil is modeled as an array of the uncoupled spring element.

1) The relative movement between the fill and the pile shaft.

2) The relative movement between any underlying compressive soil and pile shaft.

3) The elastic compression of the pile under the working load.

4) The rate of consolidation of the compressible layer.

Efficiency of Pile Group

The efficiency of pile group depends on the following factors:

1. Spacing of piles

2. Total number of piles in a row and number of rows in a group, and

3. Characteristics of pile (material, diameter, and length).

The reduction in total bearing value of the group of piles is more in case of friction piles, particularly
in clayey soils. No reduction in grouping occurs in end bearing piles. The pile groups which are
resisting the load by the combined action of friction and end bearing, only the load carrying capacity
of friction is reduced. The efficiency η_g of the pile group can be calculated by using the following

η_g= Q_gu/(NQ_u ) x 100

Thus, the pile group efficiency is equal to the ratio of the average load per pile in the group at which
the failure occurs to the ultimate load of a comparable single pile.

Single pile

Comparison of forces on column for 1.5 (DL-SAX) case, considering with and without soil-structure

1) There is difference in the axial force to the effect of soil structure interaction consider while
calculating axial force

2) It is observed that the Shear force is increased by more than 55%

3) It is observed that Bending moment along major axis is increased by more than 40% and also.

Group of Pile

Comparison of forces on column for 1.5 (DL-SAX) case, considering with and without soil-structure

1) There is not much difference in the axial force to the effect of soil structure interaction is not
consider while calculating axial force

2) It is observed that the Shear force is decreased by more than 10%.


The following conclusions are derived from the study.

With the increasing seismic activities in the recent times, an efficient design of the pile foundations
to resist the estimated earthquake loads is a major concerned issue. In this interest, this study deals
with the estimation of the seismic loads on a superstructure as per the international code selected,
IS 1893. Different cases are considered assuming the location of the structure to be in seismic zone
IV of India and on different ground types. The estimated seismic loads are applied to the SAP2000
model of the structure and analyzed to find the maximum (design) foundation loads.

It is to conclude that ground conditions should be considered much prior in the analysis of any
structure to evaluate the seismic loads acting on the structure which will further influence the
foundation design loads and foundation capacity.


1) A. Murali Krishna, A. Phani Teja (2012) “Seismic Design of Pile foundation for different ground
condition” Tenth world conference ©2012

2) T. Ilyas, C. F. Leung, Y. K. Chow, and S. S. Budi, “Centrifuge model Study of Laterally Loaded Pile
groups in clay", Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering ASCE / March 2010/283

3) Philip S.K. Ooi, M. Brian K.F. Chang, A.M, and Shuo Shang Wang, " Simplified lateral load analysis
of fixed -head piles and pile groups'' Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
ASCE / November 2011/1151