Pile Foundation

pile foundation

[′pīl fau̇n‚dā·shən]
(civil engineering)
A substructure supported on piles.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pile Foundation


a substructure in which piles are used to transfer a load from a structure to the soil. A pile foundation consists of piles and a connecting foundation mat (Figure 1). The choice between a pile foundation and a conventional foundation on a natural base is governed by economic and technical considerations. These considerations include the engineering and geological conditions at the building site and the features of the planned building or structure. Pile foundations are particularly appropriate when the building or structure is to be erected on soil that is not stable or is saturated with water. In many cases, such foundations substantially lessen the required earthwork and the expenditure of concrete.

The spacing of piles depends on the kind and magnitude of loads that act upon the foundation. Single piles are used under independent footings; rows of piles are placed under continuous footings; clusters of piles are used under columns; and

Figure 1. Pile foundation: (1) foundation mat and (2) pile

fields of piles are used under structures occupying a small area and exerting substantial vertical loads. Batter piles are used where substantial lateral forces act upon the foundation. The length of piles is chosen with regard to soil properties at the construction site. The lower ends of the piles must be sunk in compact soil.

Piles are classified into two categories according to the properties of the soil at the lower end of the pile. End-bearing piles are supported by practically incompressible soil; floating piles are sunk in soil of uniform consistency and transmit their load to the soil both through their lower and lateral surfaces.

A correct determination of the load-bearing capacity of a pile foundation is basic to the design of a reliable and economical foundation. The load-bearing capacity of the piles can be established from engineering and geological surveys, from data obtained by static probing of soils, and from the results of testing the piles by static and dynamic loading. The testing of piles by static loads is the most reliable method. However, since this method requires a large expenditure of labor, particularly for drilled piles, its application is limited to buildings and structures with heavy loads in cases where existing geological conditions are unfavorable.


Grutman, M. S. Svainye fundamenty. Kiev, 1969.
Trofimenkov, Iu. G., and A. A. Obodovskii. Svainye fundamenty dlia zhilykh i promyshlennykh zdanii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

pile foundation

A system of piles, pile caps, and straps (if required) that transfers the structural load to the bearing stratum into which the piles are driven.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
The house, raised a dozen feet above the ground, shook on its pile foundations to the rush of retreating footsteps.
The wave response curve of large diameter pile shows that the relationship between the depth and lateral displacement of pile foundation can be the approximate parabolic shape, when the displacement is 0 in the pile foundation depth of 3350 cm, the depth increases to 4000 cm; it is a curve of linear relation because of irregular wave force.
Pile foundation maintains safety in multi-story buildings and provides reinforcement against seismic activity and wind forces.
1 July 2016 - US-based helical pile foundation systems maker TorcSill Foundations, LLC has acquired US-based AnchorPipe International, Inc., the company said.
The topics include simplifying earthquake accelerograms for quick nonlinear time history analyses using a modified inverse Fourier transform, the forecast of strong ground motion fields near faults for reducing earthquake disasters in urban areas, accelerograms for building design on hard soil in Mexico City, evaluating kinematic bending moments in a pile foundation using complete three-dimensional finite element modeling, and an aseismic design method for preventing damage in a soil-pile foundation-super structure system.
It covers pile systems, pile foundation design and analysis principles, actions and effects on pile foundations, bearing capacity and resistances of single piles, stability analyses, grillage analysis, analysis and verification of pile groups, static and dynamic load tests, quality assurance during pile execution, integrity testing, and bearing capacity and analyses of piles under cyclic, dynamic, and impact actions.
In this work, deep pile foundation was designed to sustain loads from gas and steam turbine equipment on the site of Elektrenai power plant in Lithuania.
The complex work involved the installation of bored pile foundation with piles extending to depths of up to 25 metres in deep sea.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-7 November 2008-Per Aarsleff A/S wins DKK95m contract to provide pile foundation for new stadium in Warsaw(C)1994-2008 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com
The objective of the present study is to perform dynamic centrifuge test on the pile model placed in a kaolin bed in order to study the dynamic response of pile foundation in clay.
In order to obtain the design method and related theoretical guidance of the laterally loaded pile foundation on the slope site, some scholars have tried to study in theory and put forward some optimization design methods [1-3].