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Basics of Design of Piled Foundations:

A Course and Seminar Presented by Dr. Fellenius



November 28, 2019 8:00 AM

Park Town Hotel

 924 Spadina Crescent E, Saskatoon


The course-seminar comprises four parts presenting the essentials of the Unified Method of deep foundations design for capacity, drag force, settlement, and downdrag for single piles, pile groups, and piled foundations, which emphasizes analysis and design for settlement. The presentations are illustrated with case histories of testing and design analysis. Conventional head-down and bidirectional static loading test methods are detailed, including how to evaluate strain-gage measurements from instrumented pile loading tests and how to assess residual load. Settlement analysis is of vital importance to the design of piled foundations, and the course addresses principles of settlement analysis and how to calculate settlement of piles and piled foundations—single piles as well as pile groups. Pertinent aspects of construction procedures, Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD), and Reliability Base Design (RBD) are briefly addressed.


8:00 am

Setting up and getting ready


8:30 am Analysis of Load Transfer, Capacity, and Response to Load

In-situ methods for site investigation. Load-movement response of foundations; Bearing capacity and load-transfer; Set-up and relaxation; Residual force; Results of prediction events.


10:15 am



10:30 am  The Static Loading Test: Performance, Analysis, and Instrumentation


Methods of testing and basic interpretation of the results. How to analyze results from strain-gage instrumented piles to arrive at resistance distribution along the pile shaft and the pile toe response. Determining pile E-modulus. The importance of residual force and how to include its effect in the analysis. Principles and evaluation of the bidirectional test and case examples. Case histories of results of static loading tests on driven and bored piles with details on the analysis procedure applicable to results of instrumented loading tests.


12:30 pm



1:30 pm Piles and Pile Groups — Long-Term Behavior and how we know what we know


Important case histories presenting studies that demonstrated the actual long-term response of piles to load and observed settlement of piles and pile groups. The lessons learnt will be referenced to aspects of design applying the Unified Method for Design of Piled Foundations considering Capacity, Drag Force, Settlement, and Downdrag for single piles and pile groups, including influence from adjacent structures, fills, and excavations. Response to load of "pure" piled foundations, piled rafts, pile enhanced foundations, and piled pad foundations, including soil-cement (DSM) columns, and whether or not it is relevant to distinguish the response between the different types of piled foundations.


3:00 pm


3:15 pm The Unified Design Method


  1. Capacity (choice of factor of safety, and rules of LRFD, Limit States Design, and RBD, design for structural strength (including drag force), and discussion of requirements contained in Codes and Standards.

  2. Settlement of single piles and pile groups due to load directly on the piles and due to influence from adjacent activity (downdrag)

  3. How to combine the various aspects for the design of an actual case with emphasis on foundation settlement illustrated with examples.


5:00 pm

Questions and Discussions

Bengt H. Fellenius, Dr. Tech., P.Eng.

Dr. Fellenius, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa from 1979 through 2002, is an internationally recognized authority in the field of soil mechanics and foundation engineering, and, in particular, in deep foundations. He has gained a wealth of practical experience during 60 years of work at home and overseas through a variety of assignments that encompass foundation, embankment, and soil improvement design for water and sewage treatment plants, industrial plants, as well as bridges, highway, and airport projects, and marine structures and urban area development projects; some of which he has written up in about 400 technical journal and conference papers, articles, books, and book chapters. Copies of many of the papers are available for downloading from Dr. Fellenius' web site: []


Dr. Fellenius moved from his native Sweden to Canada in 1972 from where he worked on foundation investigations and design and construction projects in North America and overseas. In 1973, he was one of the first to apply geotextile soil separation sheets to stabilize roadbeds and construction surfaces, investigating conventional carpet underlay (Celanese) for this purpose. He was active in promoting to the US market the splicing of prestressed concrete piles by means of mechanical full-strength splices, and he introduced to Canada and the USA ground improvement applications of lime column method for reducing soil compressibility and wick drains (the Geodrain and Alidrain) for accelerating consolidation and stabilizing landslides. In 1977, he was one of the earliest practicing engineers to research and use dynamic testing and the Pile Driving Analyzer in actual project design and construction.


In 1984, he introduced the Janbu method of determining soil compressibility and analysis of settlement to North-America. He has also had a fundamental part of the development of commercial software for analysis of settlement from loads on natural soils and soils subjected to soil improvement methods, design of piled foundations, and other software. In 1984, he published the design and analysis method for foundation design known as the “Unified Method of Design for Capacity, Drag Force, Settlement, and Downdrag for single piles and pile groups”.


Dr. Fellenius is and has been an active participant in many national and international professional societies and research associations and in Canadian and US Codes and Standards Development. For example, Member of the subcommittee for the American Society for Testing and Materials D-4945 Standard for High-Strain Dynamic Testing of Piles; Chairman of the Canadian Geotechnical Society, CGS, Technical Committee on Foundations writing the 1985 Canadian Foundation Engineering Manual; Member of the Ministry of Transportation Committee for the Development of the 1983 and 1992 Ontario Bridge Design Code; Author of three Public Works Canada publications: Marine Division Master Specifications for Piling, Pile Design Guidelines, and Hammer Selection Guide; Past Overseas Correspondent Member to the Geotechnical Engineering Advisory Panel of the Institution of Civil Engineers, ICE (London); and Past Member of Editorial Board for the ASCE Geotechnical Engineering Journal.


Dr. Fellenius has given lectures and courses to several universities and been invited lecturer and Keynote Speaker at international conferences throughout Europe, the Americas, and South-east Asia.

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