New Standard Helps Engineers Install Piles

A new ASTM International standard aims to help engineers install deep foundations – also known as piles – for major construction projects. ASTM’s soil-and-rock committee (D18) developed the new standard (D8232), which describes test procedures that help measure the inclination of deep foundation elements, including in the excavation stage.

“The construction of deep foundations, or piles, as well as the finished product, is invisible,” says ASTM International member Joram Amir, chairman of Ltd. “Due to difficult ground conditions and/or poor workmanship, piles that were designed to be vertical can unknowingly deviate.”

Amir says this deviation can increase stresses in load-bearing piles and, in the case of piled walls, cause water penetration and loss of basement area.

“As a rule, most piling specifications limit the allowable deviation, but this requirement is rarely enforced due to scarcity of suitable instrumentation,” says Amir. “It is hoped that the new standard encourages increased testing of pile inclination.”

In addition to building owners and engineers, Amir says that new standard could be helpful to piling contractors when implementing quality control systems.  

Amir notes that the committee is interested in hearing from more members of the piling community as they begin to use the new standard. Become a member at The next meeting of the committee is June 2-5 in Denver, Colorado, USA.

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