Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2018, Anaheim, CA, USA, (DFI)

Spring Constants of Belled Caissons for Seismic Retrofit of an Existing Critical Structure in a Seismically Active Area
Bidjan Ghahreman, David E. Albus and Ahmadreza Mortezaie

The structural evaluation of seismic performance of an existing hospital in Long Beach, California, required spring constants of foundation elements. The structure included support by deep foundation elements comprised of belled (underreamed) caissons. The available relationships in the governing building code (ASCE41-13) to compute axial stiffness is not applicable due to the belled configuration of the caissons. The large diameter of the bells required consideration of the foundation medium to the axial stiffness; a detail not clearly described in ASCE 41-13. Furthermore, prescriptive equations in ASCE 41- 13 used to estimate lateral stiffness only consider pile groups with the assumption that the only source of lateral stiffness is the axial reaction of individual piles. These assumptions were invalid for the project at hand where all caissons are configured as single foundation elements, not a pile group. In the present work, the approach taken to estimate seismic stiffness of single-belled caissons is described which accounts for the elastic behavior of the foundation medium below the bell base and lateral behavior of single-pile shafts. Results of the work provide a more satisfactory derivation of the spring constants consistent with current modeling methods.

 article #3136; publication #1045 (AM-2018)