Evolving Micropiles: Optimizing Foundations For Seismic Retrofit

Jameson, Rob
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2008
Micropiles are ideally suited to seismic retrofit applications. Their high tensile and compressive capacity can sustain the large concentrated loads induced during seismic events. Micropiles can be drilled through and grouted into the wide variety of soil and rock materials encountered in seismically active zones, using equipment that operates effectively within existing structures. Micropiles have seen increased acceptance and are now widely specified for retrofit work in the San Francisco Bay Area. While installation equipment and the structural configuration of micropiles have been largely unchanged since the early 1990?s, market forces have pressured both engineers and contractors to continually optimize the cost and performance of seismic upgrades. Instead of the contractor simply developing stronger, stiffer and cheaper micropiles as isolated structural elements in response to a specification, focus has shifted to maximizing the efficiency of micropiles within the overall foundation system. The case history of seismic retrofit project in Berkeley, CA is presented to illustrate the collaboration between designers and drilling specialist which resulted in a structurally efficient and cost effective design. The seismic retrofit program for this 6-story concrete building was developed through careful consideration of the geotechnical and structural mechanisms of resistance, in combination with the deformation response of high capacity micropiles (2670 kN) under ultimate loading conditions. This case history describes the interactive project development emphasizing performance-based design and field testing to optimize the micropile foundations and the overall structural system.
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