Realizing The Benefits Of LRFD For Deep Foundations

Hertlein, Bernard H.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
The introduction of LRFD methods for structural design has been a gradual process by AASHTO, ACI, AISC, ASCE, and the FHWA, which has largely been ignored by the deep foundations industry. In 2007, however, the industry has been obliged to embrace LRFD for any deep foundations on projects involving federal funds. The authors are concerned that the risks caused by the need for, and the difficulty of providing, reliable quality assurance, will result in unnecessarily high safety factors that will defeat part of the purpose of LRFD. A primary attraction of LRFD for owners and engineers alike is that it promises more efficient design, and therefore cost reductions. Unfortunately, a key element of LRFD philosophy is often overlooked - that the applied safety factors can be rationally reduced, often allowing less material to be used, thus saving costs, but only if all the risk factors involved are identified and closely controlled. This means that both the quality of the materials and the quality of the construction work must be adequately monitored, and held to an acceptable standard. In the case of deep foundations, the soil in which the foundation is constructed is also a critical component that must be taken into account in the assessment of risk factors.
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