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5/30/2018 Settlement Reducing Piles in Piled Basements and Shafts


Settlement Reducing Piles in Piled Basements and Shafts

Settlement reducing piles are used to reduce differential settlement of piles in basement slab and shaft slab
construction. Different aspects of settlement reducing piles in piled shafts and basements are discussed in the
following sections.

Fig.1: Settlement Reducing Pile

Settlement Reducing Piles

What is settlement reducing pile in piled shafts and basements?

As it may be understood from its name, pile reducing settlements is applied to solve the problem of differential
settlement of shafts and basements slabs.

Fig.2: Use of Piles to Reduce Differential Settlements

The differential settlement is prevented by constructing longer and consequently stiffer piles at the center portion
of the basement or shaft slabs and shorter and more ductile piles around the perimeter of the slab.

The ductile piles are designed to yield to avoid or decline differential settlement between central region and
perimeter of the slab. As the outer or perimeter columns yield the exerted loads will be distributed to the central
piles by the stiff slab.

Apart from the above arrangements of piles to decrease differential settlements, there are other pile
configurations to reach the same goal. For example, the same pile size can be used to obtain differential
settlement reduction provided that the distance between perimeter piles are increased and the configuration of… 1/3
5/30/2018 Settlement Reducing Piles in Piled Basements and Shafts

loads due to superstructure permits such redistribution of loads.

Another arrangement of piles to reduce differential settlement is by changing the geometry of the piles. For
perimeter area, piles with soft toes or short expanded base piles can be used and long straight shafted pile can be
considered for the central region of the slab.

Soft toe can be obtained by placing loose sand or soil at the base of bore hole prior to the pouring of concrete.
When the load acts on the slab and for the same loading, short enlarged based pile or soft toe pile would
settlement more than that of long straight shafted pile.

Since the outer piles are permitted to yield, then the stability of the structure may be questioned. That is why it is
required to guarantee the stability of the entire structure when settlement reducing piles are considered. So, the
load should be shared between the raft and settlement reducing piles.

It is claimed that, the ultimate potential and benefits of the settlement reduced piles can be used if the underlying
soil is stiff and compressible.

Why is the purpose of a pile reducing settlements in piled shafts and basements?

When piles with the same length and diameter used to support basements and shafts slabs that carry uniform
distributed loads, the deflection of the slab would be like dished shape.

At the beginning, the slab would support almost all the applied loads, but as the loading increases, the quantity of
loads imposed on the piles increases progressively.

The loads exerted on the pile influence those located at the center and consequently central piles would
experience greater settlement.

Due to the central pile settlement, the applied load would be redistributed through the slab to the stiffer piles
around the perimeter and eventually greater loads will be exerted on these piles.

It is demonstrated that, after the redistribution of loads, around sixty percent of loads is supported by perimeter
piles whereas nearly forty percent of applied loads are carried by central piles.

This differential settlement is a serious problem and need to be tackled properly. The utilization of settlement
reducing piles is an appropriate answer for such problem. Not only does pile reducing settlements would solve
differential settlements but also would result in a more economical construction.

Read More:

Types of Piles Based on Load Transfer, Function, Material and Soil


Methods of Installing Pile Foundations (


Concreting of Pile Foundations – Workability and Quality of Concrete for Piles


Allowable Foundation Settlement for Different Structures


What are Causes for Foundation Failure in Buildings?


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