LRFD For Deep Foundations: Replacing The Traditional Factor Of Safety In Design

Roberts, Lance A.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has mandated the use of the AASHTO Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) specifications for all new federally-funded transportation infrastructure projects beginning in October 2007. This includes the design of all geotechnical-related elements, such as deep foundations, which have historically been excluded from the LRFD requirements. The basis of the LRFD specifications is the application of a probabilistically computed parameter called a resistance factor to the foundation capacity in lieu of the traditional, and often arbitrary, factor of safety. Therefore, the process of computing resistance factors for use in the design of deep foundations is extremely critical to ensure a safe, efficient, and consistent design methodology. In this paper, various methods to calibrate resistance factors for use in the design of deep foundations are examined. The methods that are currently utilized to calibrate the resistance factors reported in the AASHTO LRFD specifications may be classified as the allowable stress design (ASD) method and the reliability theory calibration method using static capacity prediction techniques. These methods are compared to a ?t-z? model design methodology. The current methods focus exclusively on the strength limit state design of deep foundations. The advantage of the ?t-z? model methodology is that it can be utilized for both strength and service limit state design. In addition, the results show that resistance factors vary based on geological setting, construction method, failure criteria and deep foundation type. This variability in the resistance factors should therefore be integrated in the design to ensure that the objectives of the LRFD approach are satisfied.
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