Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2014, Atlanta, GA, USA, (DFI)

Dealing with Complexities Associated with the Application of Bored Pile Retaining Walls in Urban Developments
Abid Adekunte, Bachy Soletanche Limited

Engineers and developers have witnessed the growing popularity of deep basement structures as components of urban commercial and residential developments. This is often attributed to inadequate surface parking facilities in urban centres and a somewhat popular belief that underground parking facilities improve both commercial and aesthetic values of urban structures. For many years, diaphragm walls and sheet pile walls have been widely accepted as effective deep excavation support systems for basement construction in urbanised zones. However, these are now being replaced by bored pile retaining walls as preferred earth retention systems of choice on many projects for several reasons, which may include economy, faster installation process, reduced space requirement for machinery and ancillary equipment, flexural rigidity and axial capacities. However, there are complexities associated with the use of bored pile retaining walls on urban developments. These include; limitations due to vertical and horizontal installation tolerances, which is a major issue when wall is required to provide groundwater cut-off for multi-level basements as tolerances are difficult to achieve for deep piles, uncertainty associated with the prediction of wall axial capacity as piles are rarely tested, difficulties in using temporary props as wall restraint due to restricted working spaces in urbanised zones and difficulties in adopting ground anchors as restraint due to the existence of adjacent sensitive structures in built-up areas. Such complexities have resulted in cases of failure, non-serviceability and abandonment of basement construction schemes. Therefore, overcoming the intricacies associated with the application of bored pile walls is becoming a priority to the present day basement engineer. This paper is centred on the numerical modelling, design, construction and monitoring aspects of four recent case histories of multi-level basement and marine engineering construction schemes in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, which involved the use of bored pile retaining walls. The paper highlights the various customised approaches and innovative novel solutions adopted on the sites, to mitigate risks and ultimately overcome the intricacies associated with the earth retention techniques. Simple empirical equations for developing the geometry of secant pile walls for effective groundwater cut-off are presented and validated. An alternative approach for predicting axial capacities of bored pile walls is also presented; this is shown to be considerably less conservative than a common routine design approach, while also in good agreement with observations made in a recent series of laboratory-based scale model tests.

 article #2008; publication #1011 (AM-2014)