South Australia & NT Chapter

A Systems Approach to Verifying Driven Pile Foundations

Dr. Julian Seidel

Talking Points

Over the past 30 years, dynamic pile testing (PDA) has become a generally accepted technique for verification of driven pile capacities in Australia. In the vast majority of projects, the technique is specified as a quick, inexpensive and generally reliable method for proof load testing for contractual verification. That being said, the implementation of PDA testing on projects is often far from ideal.

This talk will emphasize the need for a ‘whole-project’ or system view of foundation verification, and the relative importance of static and dynamic testing and dynamic formulas in the foundation acceptance process. The implementation of this system approach is discussed in the context of Australian Standard (AS 2159) and the application of different geotechnical reduction factors to allow for both type and quantity of testing.
Poor dynamic testing practices are contrasted with geotechnically-informed approaches, and recommendations given for improved implementation in specifications, by testers and by geotechnical reviewers.

Presentation Slides

About Dr. Julian Seidel

Dr. Julian Seidel is the Chairman and Technical Director of Foundation Specialists Group (FSG), which provides design, construction and testing services in geotechnical engineering. Dr. Seidel has 37 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering spent variously in consulting, government, academia and construction. He was a contributor to the current Australian Piling Code AS2159-1995. His involvement with pile testing spans over 30 years, and in that time he has developed a broad understanding of the benefits and limitations of the major testing methods currently used on foundation projects. He is committed to sharing the understandings and experiences he has gained over that time with the geotechnical fraternity.

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