Designed, Dynamically Load Tested And Installed Pile Foundation In Southwest Florida - A Case History

Pacitto, Christopher J.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2002
This paper presents a case history of an engineered, monitored, and tested program that provided an effective and satisfactory basis for the completion of pile foundations for Twin Dolphins 1 at La Peninsula Condominiums located in the Isles of Capri in southwest Florida, U.S.A. An 8-story building (withl-story parking underneath) along with recreational facilities (such as a swimming pool and tennis courts) had been planned for final construction. Following an evaluation of various foundation alternatives, a precast prestressed concrete (PPC) pile-supported system was selected. The building foundations were designed for pile capacities of 445kN (50 tons) and 890kN (100 tons) in compression and 133kN (15 tons) in uplift. A test pile program was performed to provide site-specific pile driving data, verify design assumptions, determine production pile lengths, and evaluate pile driving criteria. A total of 24, 356 mm (14-in.) square, 19.8 m (65 ft) PPC concrete piles were driven and dynamically load tested utilizing a Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) within the building limits. Dynamic monitoring during probe pile installation and restriking was performed to estimate the ultimate capacity of the piles and to evaluate driving stresses during installation. CAPWAP analyses were preformed on PDA data to better estimate pile capacity, resistance distribution, and predict pile freeze (increase in pile resistance with time) and thus optimized the production pile lengths. Upon completion of probe pile installation, 12 of the probe piles were tested using the Pile Echo Tester (PET) function of the Pile Integrity Sonic Analyzer (PISA). PET testing was performed to evaluate the integrity of piles which had exhibited high driving stresses during PDA testing. Information gathered during the probe pile driving program was effectively utilized as part of the overall quality control program to install a total of 539 PPC piles (including 24 probe piles) within the building limits at the project site to depths ranging from 9.1 to 19.8 m (30 to 65 ft) below the existing ground elevation as part of the foundation support system. Prior to installation of probe or production piles, a termination criterion was established using 1-dimensional wave equation analyses in addition to the design pile embedment requirement. The predicted pile capacities compared very well with the capacities from the CAPWAP analysis for probe piles. Use of geotechnical instrumentation and PDA assisted technology enabled each foundation support element to be constructed to its optimum capacity and at optimum cost. Furthermore, by using PDA the consultant was able to quantify a difficult to measure geotechnical phenomenon termed "pile freeze" which eliminated costly overdriving and unnecessary splicing of piles.
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