Down Drag on Friction Piles: A Case History

by Yalcin B. Acar, (M.ASCE), Louisiana State Univ, Baton Rouge, United States,
R. Richard Avent, (M.ASCE), Louisiana State Univ, Baton Rouge, United States,
Mohd R. Taha, (S.M.ASCE), Louisiana State Univ, Baton Rouge, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Vertical and Horizontal Deformations of Foundations and Embankments


The down drag settlements experienced by the foundation of a supermarket constructed in 1972 in Gretna-New Orleans, Louisiana are presented. Two different lengths of piles (12.2 m and 21.3 m) were used to support the foundation. Negative skin friction on the piles due to 1.83 m fill was not considered in the design. The foundation system, specifically the floor slab supported by the shorter piles, experienced excessive settlements and failed. The case history is presented including an account of differential settlements, rotations, structural damages and legal aspects. The case history displays the significance of the care and attention that need to be dedicated to preparing a geotechnical site investigation report.

Subject Headings: Pile foundations | Pile settlement | Foundation settlement | Case studies | Forensic engineering | Failure analysis | Structural settlement | Louisiana | United States

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