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Settlement Assessment for the Burj Khalifa, Dubai-HGP-6 (1)

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KHALIFA, DUBAI

Gianpiero Russo1

Harry G. Poulos2

John C. Small3

ABSTRACT: This paper deals with the re-assessment of foundation settlements for the Burj

Khalifa Tower in Dubai. The foundation system for the tower is a piled raft, founded on deep

deposits of calcareous rocks. Two computer programs, GARP and NAPRA have been used for the

settlement analyses, and the paper outlines the procedure adopted to re-assess the foundation

settlements, based on a careful interpretation of load tests on trial piles in which the interaction

effects of the pile test setup are allowed for. It then examines the influence of a series of factors on

the computed settlements. In order to obtain reasonable estimates of differential settlements within

the system, it is found desirable to incorporate the effects of the superstructure stiffness which act to

increase the stiffness of the overall foundation system. Values of average and differential

settlements for the piled raft calculated with GARP and NAPRA were found to be in reasonable

agreement with measured data on settlements taken near the end of construction of the tower.

Key words: case history, footings and foundations, full-scale tests, piles, rafts, settlement.

s 730

INTRODUCTION

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai was officially opened in January 2010, and at a height

of 828m, is currently the worlds tallest building. The foundation system is a

piled raft, a form of foundation that is being used increasingly to support tall

structures where the loads are expected to be excessively large for a raft alone

and where the raft and the piles are able to transfer load to the soil. The

foundation design process for this building has been described by Poulos and

Bunce (2008).

An important component of the design of a piled raft foundation is the detailed

assessment of the settlement and differential settlement of the foundation

system, and their control by optimizing the size, location and arrangement of

the piles, and the raft thickness. Many different methods of analysis have been

devised in order to predict the behaviour of raft and piled raft foundations

(Selvaduri, 1979; Clancy and Randolph, 1993; Poulos, 1994; Ta and Small,

1996; Russo and Viggiani, 1998; Viggiani, 1998; Hemsley, 1998; Hemsley,

2000), and these range from simple hand based methods to complex threedimensional numerical analyses.

In this paper, attention is focussed on two methods that model the raft as an

elastic plate and the piles as interacting non-linear springs. The computer

codes implementing these methods are described very briefly and are then

applied to the Burj Khalifa, currently the worlds tallest building, which is

founded on a piled raft. The development of the ground modulus values is

described using a combination of field test and laboratory data and the results

of pile load tests. The method of interpreting the pile load test data is

1 University of Naples, Italy

2 Coffey Geotechnics, Sydney, Australia

3 Coffey Geotechnics and University of Sydney

1

11 July 2011

discussed, and the importance of allowing for interaction between the test pile

and the surrounding reaction piles in emphasised. The two programs are then

used to compare the computed settlements with available measurements of

foundation settlements, and with the Class A predictions made by the

foundation designers and the peer reviewers.

An important objective of the paper is to explore how pile load test data should

be used when predicting the settlement performance of piled and piled raft

foundation systems, and to examine some factors that may have an important

influence on predicted foundation settlements.

COMPUTER ANALYSES

The settlement analyses used in this paper for the Burj Khalifa have employed

two computer programs, GARP and NAPRA, which idealize the piled raft

foundation as a plate supported by non-linear interacting springs. A very brief

description of these programs is given below.

Program GARP

The computer program GARP (Geotechnical Analysis of Raft with Piles, Small

and Poulos, 2007) uses a simplified boundary element analysis to compute the

behaviour of a piled raft when subjected to applied vertical loading, moment

loading, and free-field vertical soil movements.

The raft is represented by a thin elastic plate and is discretized via the finite

element method, using 8- noded elements. The soil is modelled as a layered

elastic continuum, and the piles are represented by elasticplastic or hyperbolic

springs, which can interact with each other and with the raft. Pilepile

interactions are incorporated via interaction factors (Poulos and Davis, 1980).

Simplifying approximations are utilized for the raft-pile and pile-raft

interactions. Beneath the raft, limiting values of contact pressure in

compression and tension can be specified so that some allowance can be made

for nonlinear raft behaviour. The output of GARP includes the settlement at all

nodes of the raft; the transverse, longitudinal, and torsional bending moments

within each element of the raft; the contact pressures below the raft; and the

vertical loads on each pile. In its present form, GARP can consider vertical and

moment loadings, but not lateral loadings or torsion.

Program NAPRA

The computer program NAPRA (Non linear Analysis of Piled Rafts, Russo 1998; Russo &

Viggiani, 1998) computes the behaviour of a raft subjected to any combination of vertical

distributed or concentrated loading and moment loading. The raft is modelled as a two-dimensional

elastic body using the thin plate theory, and utilizing the finite element method, adopting a four or

nine noded rectangular element.

The piles and the soil are modelled by means of interacting linear or non-linear springs. It is

assumed that the interaction between the raft and the soil (the piles) is purely vertical; accordingly,

only the axial stiffness of the springs is required.

11 July 2011

The soil is assumed to be a layered elastic continuum. The Boussinesq solution for a point load and

the closed form solution for a rectangular uniformly loaded area at the surface of an elastic halfspace are used to calculate the soil displacements produced by the contact pressure developed at the

interface between the raft and the soil. The layered continuum is solved by means of the

Steinbrenner approximation (Russo, 1998; De Sanctis and Russo, 2002), and as such, invokes the

simple assumption that the stress distribution within an elastic layer is identical with the Boussinesq

distribution for a homogeneous half-space (Russo, 1998).

The interaction factor method is used to model pile to pile interaction and a preliminary boundary

element (BEM) analysis allows calculation of the interaction factors between two piles at various

spacings. Interaction between axially loaded piles beneath the raft and the raft elements is

accounted for via pile-soil interaction factors computed with a preliminary BEM procedure. The

reciprocal theorem is used to maintain that the soil-pile interaction factor is equal to the pile-soil

interaction factor.

A stepwise incremental procedure is used to simulate the non-linear load-settlement relationship of

a single pile, the total load to be applied is subdivided into a number of increments, and the diagonal

terms of the pile-soil flexibility matrix are updated at each step. A computation of the nodal

reactions vector is made at each step, to check for tensile forces between raft and soil and an

iterative procedure is used to make them equal to zero. Basically, this procedure releases the

compatibility of displacements between the raft and the pile-soil system in the node where tensile

forces were detected, although the overall equilibrium is maintained by a re-distribution of forces.

An iterative procedure is needed since after the first run some additional tensile forces may arise in

different nodes. The output of the code is represented by the distribution of the nodal displacements

of the raft and the pile-soil system, the load sharing among the piles and the raft, the bending

moments and the shear in the raft, for each load increment.

Abagnara et al (2011) have compared GARP and NAPRA analyses for a simple

case, and have concluded that both programs give comparable results, but that

some of the simplifying assumptions employed in each program give rise to

differences in detail. For example, the difference in raft settlements may be

due to the differences in the details of calculation of the soil layer stiffness

using the Boussinesq/Steinbrenner approach. The difference in plate element

types may also contribute to the differences. For the piled raft, the differences

may arise because of differences in the methods used to compute the single

pile stiffness values, the interaction factors and the pile-raft and raft-pile

interactions.

In this paper, attention will be focussed on analyses carried out with NAPRA,

although a comparison will also be presented between the GARP and NAPRA

analyses.

Foundation layout

The Burj Khalifa project in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), comprises a 160 storey high rise

tower, with a podium development around the base of the tower, including a 4-6 storey garage. The

3

11 July 2011

Burj Khalifa is located on a 42000 m 2 site. The tower is founded on a 3.7m thick raft supported on

194 bored piles, 1.5 m in diameter, extending 47.45m below the base of the raft; podium structures

are founded on a 0.65 m thick raft (increased to 1m at column locations) supported on 750

bored piles, 0.9 m in diameter, extending 30-35 m below the base of the raft. A plan view of

foundation is shown in Fig. 1.

Ground investigation and site characterization

The investigations involved the drilling of 32 boreholes to a maximum depth of about 90 m below

ground level and 1 borehole to a depth of 140 m under the tower footprint. Standpipe piezometers

were installed to measure the ground water level which was found to be relatively close to the

ground surface, typically at a level of 2.5m DMD. The ranges of measured SPT N values are

summarised in Table 2. There was a tendency for N values to increase with depth, beyond an

elevation of about -8m DMD.

Table 2Summary of Measured SPT Values

Elevation m

2.5 to -1

-1 to -8

-8 to -14

-14 to -30

-30 to -40

-40 to -80

0-40

50-400

0-100

40-200

100-200

100-400

The ground conditions at the site comprise a horizontally stratified subsurface profile which is

complex and highly variable in terms of the strata thickness due to the nature of deposition and the

prevalent hot arid climatic conditions. The main strata identified were as follows

1. Very loose to medium dense silty sand (Marine Deposits).

2. Weak to moderately weak calcarenite, generally unweathered with fractures close to medium

spaced interbedded with cemented sand. This material is generally underlain by very weak to

4

11 July 2011

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

weak sandstone which is generally unweathered with fractures close to medium spaced

interbedded with cemented sand.

Very weak to weak calcarenite, calcareous sandstone and sandstone; this formation is slightly to

highly weathered with fractures extremely close to closely spaced and interbedded with

cemented sand. Bands of 1 to 5 m thickness are also present of medium dense to very dense,

cemented, sand with sandstone bands and locally with bands of silt.

Very weak to weak gypsiferous sandstone, gypsiferous calcareous sandstone occasionally

gypsiferous siltstone. This material is generally unweathered to slightly weathered with

fractures extremely close to closely spaced and interbedded with cemented sand. The formation

is interbedded with dense to very dense, cemented, silty sand and occasionally silt with

sandstone bands.

Very weak to weak calcisiltite, conglomeritic calcisiltite and calcareous calcisiltite. This

material is generally moderately to highly weathered, occasionally slightly and completely

weathered with fractures extremely close to medium spaced. Calcareous siltstone was

encountered in the majority of the deeper boreholes comprising very weak to weak occasionally

moderately weak calcareous siltstone in bands with a thickness of 0.5 to 14.4 m generally

slightly to moderately weathered occasionally highly to extremely weathered.

Very weak to weak and occasionally moderately weak calcareous siltstone, calcareous

conglomerate, conglomeritic sandstone and limestone. This material is generally slightly

weathered and occasionally unweathered and moderately weathered to highly weathered.

Occasionally encountered as calcisiltite interbedded with bands of siltstone and conglomerate.

Very weak to moderately weak claystone interbedded with siltstone. This material is generally

slightly weathered with close to medium spaced fractures. Between -112.2 m and -128.2 m

occasional bands of up to 500 mm thick gypsum were encountered. Below -128.2 m the stratum

was encountered as weak to moderately weak siltstone with medium to widely spaced fractures.

Table 3 summarizes the stratigraphy adopted for the foundation settlement analyses.

In situ and laboratory test results

A comprehensive series of in situ tests was carried out, including

pressuremeter tests, down-hole seismic, cross-hole seismic, and cross-hole tomography to

determine compression (P) and shear (S) wave velocities through the ground profile. The vertical

profile of P-wave velocity with depth gave a useful indication of variations in the nature of the

strata between the borelogs.

Conventional laboratory classification tests (moisture content of soil and rock,

Atterberg limits, particle size distribution and hydrometer) and laboratory tests

for determining physical properties (porosity tests, intact dry density, specific

gravity, particle density) and chemical properties were carried out. In addition,

unconfined compression tests, point load index tests, and drained direct shear

tests were carried out. A considerable amount of more advanced laboratory

testing was undertaken, including stress path triaxial tests, resonant column

testing for small-strain shear modulus, undrained cyclic triaxial tests, cyclic

simple shear, and constant normal stiffness (CNS) direct shear tests.

Table 3. Stratigraphic model adopted for settlement assessment.

Stratu

m

Description

Level at the

top

of the stratum

Thickness

Adopted

Level at

top of

UCS

qu

11 July 2011

[m DMD]

1.15 to 2.96

1.85 to 4.3

layer

[m

DMD]

2.5

-0.27 to -1.95

2.87 to 10.75

-1.2

-4.13 to -12.06

10.5 to 21.43

-7.3

-13.5

-21.54 to

-26.69

1.7 to 7.75

-24

-28.5

1.3

-27.64 to

-31.15

39.2 to 46.75

-50

1.7

-68.5

2.5

-90

[m]

1

2

3a

3b

4

5a

5b

6

Marine

deposits

Calcarenite/

Calcareous

sandstone

Calcareous

sandstone/

Sandstone

Gypsiferous

sandstone

Calcisiltite/

Conglomeriti

c calcisiltite

Calcareous

siltstone

Calcareous/

Conglomeriti

c Strata

Claystone/

Siltstone

interbedded

with gypsum

layers

-67.19 to

-76.04

-98.19

31 (from 140m

deep BH only)

Proved to 39.6

m thickness

[MPa

]

Some of the relevant findings from the in situ and laboratory testing are as follows:

i.

ii.

iii.

iv.

v.

The cemented materials were generally very weak to weak; unconfined compressive

strength (UCS) values ranged mostly between about 0.16 MPa the average values for each

layer being the ones reported in the table 3.

Values of the Youngs Modulus from pressuremeter tests (first and second reload cycle) were

found to be in good agreement with values from correlation with shear waves velocities.

From calcarenite (0 m to -7.5 m) to sandstone (-7.5 m to -24 m) Youngs Modulus is

approximately constant with depth; at greater depths the average values decrease in the

gypsiferous sandstone (-24 to -28.5 m) then they slightly increase in the calcisiltite (from

-28.5 to -68.5 m) and finally decrease in the siltstone (from -68.5 to -91 m).

Triaxial Stress Path Testing (at strain levels of 0.01% and 0.1%) was found to give results

for Youngs modulus that were in good agreement with pressuremeter and geophysics

testing results.

Resonant Column Testing was found to give more conservative values for the Youngs

Modulus when compared with values from pressuremeter tests, geophysics tests and triaxial

stress tests.

Constant normal stiffness (CNS) tests were carried out on three samples taken from stratum

5a to assess the ultimate skin friction values and the potential for cyclic degradation at the

pile-soil interface. These tests indicated values of peak monotonic shear stress ranging from

360 to 558 kPa, with only a little difference between the peak monotonic and the residual

cyclic shear stress values.

Geotechnical Model

11 July 2011

The key parameters for the assessment of the settlement behaviour of the Khalifa Tower piled raft

foundation system are the values of the Youngs modulus of the strata for both raft and pile

behaviour under static loading. In a non-linear analysis, the values of ultimate skin friction of piles,

the ultimate end-bearing resistance of the piles, and the ultimate bearing capacity of the raft would

also be required, but in this paper, only linear elastic analyses have been undertaken using NAPRA

and GARP analyses, having explored the little influence of non linearity up to the maximum

observed load level. Attention has thus been focussed on evaluating relevant values of Youngs

modulus for each stratum.

As a first step in obtaining these values, the relative stiffness of the various soil layers was assessed

considering values of the Youngs Modulus from the following data:

1.

2.

3.

4.

Geophysics tests (correlation with shear wave velocities);

Resonant column tests (Initial, 0.0001%, 0.001%, 0.01% strain levels);

Triaxial Stress Path Tests (0.01% and 0.1% strain levels);

Values of the various Youngs Modulus values are plotted in Fig. 2, and although inevitable

scatter exists among the different values, there is a reasonably consistent general pattern of

variation with depth.

Layer 3b (see Table 3) has arbitrarily been chosen as the reference layer, and for each type of

test, values of the Youngs Modulus for a layer i, E i, have been related to the value for layer 3b,

E3b. The values of Ei/E3b have then been averaged, using the following data: reload cycles from

pressuremeter testing; seismic data; resonant column data at a strain level of 0.01%, and the

triaxial stress path tests. Fig. 3 shows the different assessed relative stiffness profiles so

obtained, and Table 4 summarises the average values of relative Youngs modulus that were

adopted for the analyses and the interpretation of the pile load test data. The absolute values of

Youngs modulus for each of the different layers have been then obtained by fitting the load

settlement curves of the single piles obtained from the load tests, and the process of fitting the

load-settlement curves to obtain the Youngs modulus values is described below.

Table 4. Relative Values of Youngs Modulus Used in Pile Load Test Interpretation

Stratum

2

3a

3b

3c

4

5a

5b

6

2.3

0.6

1.0

1.0

0.8

0.7

0.8

0.7

11 July 2011

Pile Load Tests

A program of pile load testing was undertaken which involved the installation of

seven test piles in the podium area near the location of the Khalifa Tower. All the

test piles and reaction piles were bored cast in-situ and constructed under polymer fluid. A

permanent casing, 6m long, was installed from the top of each pile to just above the highest strain

gauge level for all the trial piles tested in compression and tension. Five piles, designated as P1, P2,

P3, P4 and P5, were tested in compression; two, P3 and P5, were shaft grouted. Test pile P6 was

tested in tension and test pile P7 was laterally loaded.

Only the compression load tests on trial piles P1, P2 and P4 have been considered for the present

paper. Table 5 summarizes the main features of these piles. Figure 4a shows the load test

arrangements for piles P1 and P2, which consisted of the test pile and six reaction piles, while

8

11 July 2011

Figure 4b shows the set-up for pile P4, which consisted of the test pile and four reaction piles. Steel

load distribution plates were grouted to the top of the test piles and hydraulic jacks were placed

between the steel plates and the reaction beams. Steel reaction beams were used to transfer the load

from the hydraulic jacks to the installed reaction piles. Macalloy bars were used as reaction anchors

to transfer the load from the beams to the reaction piles. Six cycles of loading were applied to trial

piles P1 and P2 while nine cycles of loading were applied to trial pile P4, which was the pile

designated to be tested cyclically.

Table 5. Summary of pile load tests.

Trial

Pile

Diam

.

Cut-off

level

[m DMD]

Toe

level

[m DMD]

Length

Load Test

layout

DWL

*

DML*

*

No. of cycles

[t]

[t]

3000

6000

6

(50%-150% DWL)

3000

6000

6

(50%-150% DWL)

1000

3500

9

(100%-150%

DWL)

[m]

[m]

1

1.5

-4.85

-50

45.15

1.5

-4.85

-60

55.15

0.9

-2.90

-50

47.1

6 RP

circle with a

4.5 m radius

6 RP

circle with a

4.5m radius

4 RP

square with a

9 m side

Four main types of instrumentation were used in the compression test piles:

1. Concrete embedment vibrating wire strain gauges, to allow measurement

of axial strains at six levels along the pile shafts and hence estimation of

the axial load distribution;

2. Extensometers, to measure change in length of the piles, and installed at

the same levels as the vibrating wire strain gauges to provide back-up

information on axial load distribution with depth;

3. Displacement transducers at the top of piles, to measure the vertical

movement at the pile heads.

4. Load cells, to monitor the load applied to the pile via the jacks.

Back-Analysis interpretation of load tests to obtain Youngs Modulus Values

The computer program NAPRA was used to carry out the back-analyses of

compression tests on the three test piles considered. Since a detailed soil

profile at each trial pile location was not available, the same geotechnical

model was adopted for all three piles.

For comparison purposes the three load tests were back-analysed both taking and not taking into

account interaction between test piles and reaction piles. It is now well-recognised that ignoring

interaction between the test pile and the reaction piles can lead to an overestimation of the pile head

stiffness (Poulos & Davis, 1980; Poulos, 2000; Kitiyodom et al., 2004).

Both linear elastic (LE) and non-linear analyses (NL) were carried out. In all analyses,

Youngs modulus for the piles, Ep, was assumed to be 31.8 GPa. For the linear

9

11 July 2011

analyses, the theoretical behaviour was fitted to the observed load-settlement behaviour at pile head

displacements of about 0.08% of diameter and 0.2 % of diameter.

In the non-linear analyses, in order to assess the sensitivity of the back-calculated

values of soil stiffness to the value of ultimate capacity, Q lim, three different

values were adopted in the analyses:

1) Qlim was estimated as the asymptote to a hyperbola fitted to the whole measured

load-settlement curve (HYP);

2) Qlim was based on the load transfer deduced by strain gauges readings (SG);

3) Qlim was based on the load transfer deduced by extensometer readings (EX).

Ultimate skin friction values inferred from the axial load distribution and from the extensometer

readings were employed to assess pile shaft capacity up to depths above -30m, -38m and -30m for

piles P1, P2 and P4 respectively. From pilesoil interface load-strain curves at various depths along

the shafts, these values were found to be representative of the ultimate values in the upper (cased)

part of the shaft. Below these depths, ultimate values of shaft friction were estimated from

correlations with the unconfined compressive strength (UCS) of the rock.

Table 6 summarises the values of Qlim obtained from these three procedures. As might be expected,

the hyperbolic extrapolation procedure gives the largest values, and probably over-estimates the

capacity. There is some difference between the values assessed on the basis of the strain gauge and

extensometer readings, but from the point of view of settlement prediction, such differences are not

very significant.

Figures 5 and 6 show typical fits (for Pile P2) of the computed non-linear load-settlement behaviour

and the observed load-settlement behaviour. Figure 5 is for the interpretation taking account of

interaction, while Figure 6 shows the corresponding fit with interaction between the test pile and

reaction piles being ignored. In both cases, very reasonable fits are obtained with the measured data.

Table 6. Assessed pile capacity with different methods.

Qlim

[kN]

Strain Gauge

Readings

(SG)

Pile

Hyperbolic Extrapolation

(HYP)

TP1

108,800

93,800

73,200

TP2

115,900

97,300

100,200

TP4

82,600

50,500

59,900

10

Extensometer Readings

(EX)

11 July 2011

(b) Pile P4

measured loadsettlement

for pile P2(interaction considered).

ignored).

for pile P2 (interaction

Back-calculated values of the Youngs Modulus for stratum 3b, E 3b, are reported

in Table 7. In the linear elastic analyses the first point on the measured loadsettlement curve has been considered. In this way back-calculated values of

soil stiffness in linear analyses are affected by the loading procedure adopted

in the load tests. In the cases of piles P2 and P4, values of back-calculated soil

stiffness are in close agreement with values back-calculated in the non linear

analysis (values of w/D are 0.0008 - 0.0009) while in the case of pile P1, the

first point is at a higher displacement (0.21%), and so the back-calculated

value is lower. It should be noted that had the interaction between the test pile

and the reaction piles not been taken into account, the back-calculated values

of pile-soil relative stiffness would have been considerably larger.

Table 7. Youngs Modulus values derived from load tests.

TEST

PILE

P1

P2

11

Linear Analysis

(w/D=0.0008)

Linear Analysis

(w/D=0.002)

Non-linear Analysis

Linear Analysis

(w/D=0.0008)

Non-linear Analysis

350

700

650

1200

11 July 2011

P4

850

550

650(EX)-850(SG)

1100

850(EX)-1100(SG)

EX denotes values derived from extensometer readings

SG denotes values derived via strain gauges

1. The consideration of interaction between the test pile and the reaction piles results in

backfigured modulus values which are considerably less than those for which interaction has

been ignored. Thus, there would be a tendency to under-estimate foundation settlements if

interaction effects are ignored.

2. The back-calculated values from the three tests are scattered.

In order to partially overcome the described limitation in the back-analysis of load tests, and to

show its effects on the average settlement assessment, sensitivity analyses have been carried out

with NAPRA by adopting two different values of soil stiffness assessed to be

representative of lower and upper bound values.

In the GARP and NAPRA analyses described below, for the assessment of the average and

differential settlements, the values of E3b shown in Table 8 were adopted, on the basis of the nonlinear analysis of the load test results.

Table 8. Values of Youngs Modulus (E3b) of Layer 3b Adopted for Foundation Analyses

Case

Reaction pile

interaction considered

Reaction pile

interaction ignored

Best Estimate

Upper Bound Value

Lower Bound Value

900

1000

650

1200

1500

900

The majority of the foundation settlement re-assessment was carried out using

linear elastic analyses with the computer program NAPRA. The mesh adopted

for the NAPRA analyses is shown in Figure 7, and in this mesh, the columns were

spaced 1.7 m apart. Preliminary analyses indicated that using a finer mesh than this produced no

change in the results. The actual shape of the raft was modelled by adopting a piecewise

approximation.

Only long-term conditions have been considered, and for the majority of the early analyses, an

average load per pile of 23.21 MN has been used (this is representative of the design dead plus live

loading) and has been applied as a point load on each of the 194 piles. This load corresponds to a

uniformly distributed load on the tower raft of about 1250 kPa.

The majority of analyses were undertaken using the best-estimate modulus value of 900 MPa

derived from the proper interpretation of the load test data (see Table 8).

A series of sensitivity analyses was undertaken to examine the following issues:

12

11 July 2011

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

The influence of the range of back-figured values of Youngs modulus;

The influence of using correct and incorrect back-figured values of Youngs modulus;

The effect of not considering the raft in the foundation settlement analysis;

The differences between analyses using NAPRA and GARP;

The influence of the assumed loading pattern;

The effect of incorporating the stiffness of the superstructure;

The effect of including the podium loading.

RESULTS OF SENSITIVITY STUDIES

Influence of Non-Linear Pile Response

For the non-linear NAPRA analyses, the ultimate axial capacity of each pile has been assumed to be

112.5MN. Table 9 compares the computed maximum (S max) and central settlements (S centre),

and the maximum differential settlement (DS max), from the linear and non-linear analyses. There

is very little difference between the two analyses in this case, as it could be expected being the

global safety factor on each pile in the range 3 to 5. Thus the comparison indicates that the

foundation response is essentially elastic under the dead plus live loadings. Accordingly, only linear

analyses have been employed for the remainder of the sensitivity studies.

Table 9. Computed Settlements (mm) from Linear and Non-Linear Analyses

Linear Analysis

S max

S centre

DS max

52

51

27

Non-Linear Analysis

S max

S centre

DS max

53

53

27

Table 10 summarises the computed settlements from the NAPRA analysis, using the range of values

of Youngs modulus back-figured from the correct interpretation of the pile load tests (see Table 8).

As would be expected, the computed settlement for the lower-bound modulus value is considerably

greater than that for the upper-bound modulus value, although the ratio of the computed settlement

13

11 July 2011

values is less than the ratio of the modulus values. This may be explained by the non linearity

source provided by the iterative check on the tensile forces at the raft-soil interface.

Table 10. Influence of Using Upper and Lower Bounds of Backfigured Modulus Values

Modulus Value for Layer 3b

S max

S centre

DS max

81

68

50

56

46

35

The influence of using correct and incorrect back-figured values of Youngs modulus

Table 11 shows the influence on the computed settlements of using the best-estimate modulus

values for Layer 3b obtained from the correct interpretation (considering test pile-reaction pile

interaction) and the incorrect interpretation (ignoring this interaction). The settlements computed

using the incorrect modulus interpretation are about 21% less than those using the correct

interpretation, and it is therefore important to properly interpret the test pile load-settlement data to

avoid the tendency to under-estimate the foundation settlements and differential settlements.

Table 11. Influence of Modulus Value on Computed Settlements

Computed Settlements mm

Modulus Value Used

Correct Interpretation

E3b= 900 MPa

Incorrect Interpretation

E3b=1200 MPa

S max

S centre

DS max

52

51

27

41

40

22

NAPRA has been used to analyse the foundation system, both as a piled raft, and as a pile group in

which there is no raft joining the piles. The correct best-estimate modulus of Layer 3b of 900

14

11 July 2011

MPa has been used. Table 12 shows the computed settlements for both these cases. The difference

between the computed central settlements is negligible, but there is a considerable difference

between the computed maximum settlements and differential settlements. In this case, the

conservatism introduced by ignoring the raft would lead to a 17% increase in the computed

maximum settlement but a 40% increase in the maximum differential settlement. Therefore it is

desirable to incorporate the effect of the raft when computing the settlement distribution within the

foundation system.

Case Analysed

S max

Computed Settlements mm

S centre

DS max

61

51

38

52

51

27

Piled Raft

Similar meshes have been used for both the NAPRA and GARP analyses and identical analysis

assumptions have been made in both cases. Figure 8 shows the computed profile of settlement along

Wing C from both analyses, and reveals that they are almost identical. Thus, pleasingly, for the

same input, each program is capable of giving very similar results.

The Influence of the Loading Pattern

15

11 July 2011

The preceding results have all been obtained assuming that the average design load (23.21 MN) has

been applied to each pile location. In reality, the loads will be applied via wall and column

locations, and consequently, NAPRA has been used to examine the influence of the loading pattern

on the computed settlement profile for two cases:

a. Equal loads on all the piles;

b. The actual design loadings are applied at the wall and column locations.

The computed settlement profiles along Wing C in Figure 9 show a difference in the computed

settlement patterns, with the equal load assumption giving smaller maximum settlement than the

other case. Thus, it would appear desirable to employ the actual load pattern in design calculations.

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

0

10

20

30

w [mm]

40

Average pile loads applied

50

60

70

80

d [m]

The Influence of the Podium Structure on the Tower Settlement

The podium structure was assumed to be founded at the same depth of the tower raft, but the two

rafts were assumed to be unconnected. The length of the podium piles was taken to be 30m, and the

columns and rows in the NAPRA mesh were spaced at 3m up to a distance of 30 diameters and 4 m

at larger distances. An average load per pile of 23.21 MN was applied as a point load on each of the

194 tower piles while the loads acting on the low-rise area were modelled as point loads of between

2 and 8 MN acting on the podium piles, depending on their location.

The maximum computed settlement was 54mm which was only 2mm larger than the value

computed for the tower only. The effect of the 750 piles of the podium was thus very small in this

case, primarily because of the significant distance of many of the podium piles from the tower, and

the relatively small loads that they carried.

The Influence of Superstructure Stiffness

In order to investigate the effect on the computed settlement and differential settlement, and to try

and obtain a more accurate estimate of the pattern of settlement, the stiffening effect exerted by the

superstructure on the raft was taken into account, in various ways, by increasing the bending

stiffness of the raft in each wing (estimated by the structural designers to be equivalent to an

16

11 July 2011

increase of 25200 kNm2 per wing). Six alternative methods of incorporating this increased bending

stiffness were adopted:

a. Increasing the thickness of the whole raft to reflect the bending stiffness of the entire tower

(Model 1).

b. Increasing the raft thickness over the central part of the wings and on the core, as shown in

Figure 10, to reflect the bending stiffness of the entire tower. This is denoted as Model 2.

c. Increasing the raft thickness only below the shear walls (see Figure 11), to reflect the

bending stiffness of the entire tower; this case is denoted as Model 3.

d. Model 1, with only 10% of the stiffness of the tower considered (Model 1M).

e. Model 2, with only 10% of the stiffness of the tower considered (Model 2M).

f. Model 3, with only 10% of the stiffness of the tower considered (Model 3M).

In each case, the actual pattern of loading via the columns and walls was applied, with only the dead

load component considered.

Figure 12 compares the various computed profiles of settlement across the tower, together with

those in which no account is taken of superstructure stiffness. Also shown is the design profile

developed by Poulos and Bunce (2008), which was for combined dead plus live load, and therefore

not directly comparable. Clearly, there is a considerable difference between the extreme profiles,

those taking all the superstructure stiffness into account, and that in which no account is taken of the

superstructure stiffness. It would appear reasonable to assume that the profiles from Models 1M,

2M and 3M may be more reasonable approximations to reality, and this appears to be borne out by

the comparisons with the measured settlements, as described below.

17

11 July 2011

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

0

10 Model 1

NAPRA

NAPRA Model 2

20

30

NAPRA Model 3

Settlement [mm]

40

NAPRA Model 1M

50

60 Model 2M

NAPRA

NAPRA Model 3M

70

80

NAPRA-No Structure Stif f ness Allowance

90

Detailed settlement measurements were only available up to February 2008, before the end of

construction and well before the commissioning and occupation of the building in January 2010.

Nevertheless, anectodal evidence indicated that the additional settlements between February 2008

and January 2010 were relatively small, of the order of 1-2mm.

Figure 13 shows comparisons between the latest available measured profile of settlement in

February 2008, and the calculated settlement profiles from Models 1M, 2M and 3M. The following

observations are made from an examination of Figures 12 and 13:

1. Without allowance for superstructure stiffness, the calculated maximum final differential

settlement is about 35mm which is considerably larger than the measured value of about

14mm. The computed maximum settlement is also larger than the measured value, although

some additional settlement would be expected after the building has been in operation for

some years.

2. When allowance is made for the superstructure stiffness, the computed maximum settlement

is similar in magnitude to the measured value. However, for Models 1, 2 and 3, in which the

full superstructure stiffness is incorporated (albeit approximately), the computed settlement

pattern differs somewhat from the measured pattern, and the computed differential

settlements are significantly smaller than those measured. It seems clear that it is not

appropriate to allow for the bending stiffness of the entire structure when trying to modify

the foundation stiffness.

3. When the allowance for superstructure stiffness is reduced by a factor of 10 (Models 1M,

2M and 3M), there is better agreement between the computed and measured profiles, with a

computed maximum differential settlement ranging between 15 and 21 mm for the three

models, similar to the measured value. In this case, the stiffness of the raft is approximately

53 times its original value, and this latter value is much larger than the value of 10 times

adopted by Hooper (1973) for the Hyde Park Barracks in London and by Sales et al. (2010)

for the Skyper Building in Frankfurt. Interestingly, and almost certainly coincidentally, the

18

11 July 2011

profile for this case is rather similar to that obtained for the case when the average load is

imposed on each pile.

4. There remain some differences between the measured and computed settlement profiles in

the vicinity of the edge of the wing. There may well be scope to refine the method by which

the superstructure is incorporated into the geotechnical foundation analysis.

5. The calculated settlements from the design phase are considerably greater than those

obtained from the analyses in this paper. The main reason for these larger settlements is that

the settlements were for both dead and live load acting, and in addition, conservative values

of Youngs modulus were used in these analyses, with a somewhat different distribution of

ground stiffness with depth being adopted in those calculations. Once again, this comparison

emphasises the importance of appropriate selection of the ground stiffness values if accurate

foundation settlement predictions are to be made.

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

10

NAPRA Model 1M

20

Settlement [mm]

NAPRA Model 2M

NAPRA Model 3M

30

40

Measured (February 2008)

50

60

Distance along wing [m]

CONCLUSIONS

1. The case history of the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai has been re-assessed

for the prediction of average and differential settlement of the piled raft

foundation system. The comprehensive ground investigation and pile

testing program carried out for this project has enabled the site to be

characterized in some detail. The pile load tests is particular have been

an important factor in enabling reasonable settlement prediction to be

made.

2. The ground stiffness or modulus is a key factor in the prediction of

foundation settlements. If this is to be derived from pile load test data,

then the interpretation of the load-settlement should take into account

19

11 July 2011

stiffness is likely to be over-estimated and the foundation settlements

subsequently under-predicted.

3. Sensitivity studies have been carried out to explore the effects of a number of factors on

predicted settlement behaviour of the Burj Khalifa tower. In addition to the ground stiffness

or modulus, the consideration of the effects of the raft and superstructure stiffness may be

important factors in influencing both the maximum settlement and the maximum differential

settlement.

4. The assessment of the differential settlement of the Khalifa tower

foundation has been by explored by adopting three different models to account for the

stiffening effect of the superstructure, and they have been found to give reasonably similar

results. However, if the foundation, or parts of it, are stiffened to represent the bending

stiffness of the entire structure, the consequent foundation response is too rigid, and the

differential settlements tend to be under-predicted considerably. For the Burj Khalifa tower,

an additional stiffness equivalent to about 10% of the entire bending stiffness has been

found to give improved, but by no means perfect, results when compared with measured

settlement profiles. This result suggests that there is a limit to the stiffness that the structure

can provide to the foundation system, and so the full structure should not be taken into

account when calculating the effective increase of stiffness.

5. In this case at least, consideration of the low-rise podium structure leads

to only a small increase in the settlement under the tower footprint.

6. The method of analysis may be a less significant factor in the prediction of piled rafts

settlements, provided the method is sound. For the same input data, the computer programs

GARP and NAPRA produced similar settlements of the tower.

REFERENCES

Abagnara, V., Poulos, H.G. and Small, J.C. (2012). Comparison of two piled raft

analysis programs. Submitted for 12th Australia- New Zealand Conf.

Geomechanics, Melbourne.

Clancy, P. & Randolph, M.F. 1993. An approximate analysis procedure for piled

raft foundations.

Int. Journ. For Num. and Anal. Meth. in Geomech, 17(12): 849-869.

De Sanctis, L., Russo, G. and Viggiani, C. 2002. 21.Piled raft on layered soils.

Proc. Ninth International Conference on Piling and Deep Foundations, ___

-___Nice 2002

Hemsley, J.A. 1998. Elastic Analysis of Raft Foundations. Thomas Telford,

London.

Hemsley, J.A. (ed) 2000. Design Applications of Raft Foundations. Thomas

Telford, London.

Kitiyodom, P., Matsumoto, T. and Kanefusa, N. 2004. Influence of reaction piles

on the behaviour

of a test pile in static load testing. Canadian Geotechnical Journal, 41, 408

420

Poulos, H.G. & Davis, E.H. 1980. Pile foundation analysis and design. New York,

John Wiley.

20

11 July 2011

Int. Journ. For Num. and Anal. Meth. in Geomech., 18, 73-92.

Poulos, H.G. 2000. Pile testing From the designers viewpoint. Statnamic

Loading Test 98,

Balkema, Rotterdam, 3-21.

Poulos, H.G. and Bunce, G. (2008). Foundation design for the Burj Dubai the

worlds tallest building. Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Case Histories in Geot. Eng.,

Arlington, Virginia, Paper 1.47 CD volume.

Russo, G. 1998. Numerical analysis of piled rafts. Int. Journ. For Num. and Anal.

Meth. In

Geomech., 22, No 6, 477-493.

21

11 July 2011

Russo, G. And Viggiani, C. 1998. 15.Factors controlling soil-structure interaction for piled rafts.

Proc. International Conference on Soil-Structure Interaction in Urban Civil Engineering, Ed. R.

Katzenbach & U. Arslan, Darmstadt,___ - ___.

Sales. M.M., Small, J.C., Poulos, H.G. 2010. Compensated piled rafts in clayey soils: behaviour,

measurements, and predictions. Can. Geotech. J.47, 327-345.

Selvaduri, A.P.S. 1979. Elastic Analysis of Soil-Foundation Interaction. Elsevier

Publishing Co.,

New York.

Small, J.C. and Poulos, H.G. (2007). Nonlinear analysis of piled raft foundations.

Geotech. Special Publication GSP158, ASCE, CD Volume, GeoDenver 2007.

Ta, L.D. & Small, J.C. 1996. Analysis of piled raft systems in layered soils. Int.

Journ. For Num. and Anal. Meth. inGeomech. 20: 57-72.

Viggiani, C. 1998. Pile groups and piled rafts behaviour. Proc. 3rd Int. Geot.

Seminar on Deep

Foundations on Bored and Auger Piles, Ghent, 77-94

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