Showing posts from June, 2016

First of Its Kind Seismic Test on Helical Piles Exceeds Expectations

View the video. As geotechnical and structural engineers work to better understand the survivability of different building types under seismic loads, a key frontier of study is deep foundations. This study, the first of its kind, sought to better understand the performance of helical pile deep foundations under earthquake conditions.  During the Feb. 22, 2011 earthquake, Christchurch, New Zealand was damaged by a tremor that registered at 6.3 magnitude. Due to the soils in the area and the shallow focus point, some areas of the city were devastated by a peak ground acceleration of almost two times the force of gravity. This peak ground acceleration, one of the most powerful ever recorded, severely damaged or destroyed many buildings in downtown Christ Church and caused the tragic collapse of the CTV office building, killing 115 people. A post earthquake survey found that all buildings constructed on helical piles survived with minimal structural damage, adding to the q