Publication Abstract

Proceedings - DFI Specialty Seminar, "Augered Cast-In-Place Piles Seminar- 1997, Orlando, FL", (DFI)

Contractual Pitfalls to Avoid with Augered CIP Piles
William Babcock, PE

Augered Cast-in-Place (ACIP) piles can be an economical, reliable, versatile foundation system. They have also been a part of projects that were behind schedule and the subject of lawsuits. The ACIP pile is a specialty system that is more workmanship dependent than most deep foundation systems and is especially vulnerable to the problems and abuse of poor specifications and contract language. Many of the original specifications were based on grouting methods, and numerous misconceptions have followed the method. The DFI has been the leader in debunking the mystique that has hovered over the method and attempted to standardize the industry through publication of the manuals describing the method and how it should be inspected. DFI should be applauded for taking the lead and producing a reference document that can be used to educate the specification writers, designers, inspectors, and owners. It must be appreciated that there have been other organizations that would not acknowledge ACIP piles as a legitimate member of the deep foundation family. Some consultants and designers have gone to the extreme of making it policy to not recommend the method for use. This paper is one practitioner’s view of the causes of problems as they can be traced back to the contractual conditions. It is intended to provide a broader and different perspective than those provided by the technical specialists. It does not necessarily reflect the position of the DFI or any of the organizations associated with the ACIP pile industry. It is intended to further the spirit of partnering on every ACIP pile project, to further the acceptance and promote the use of this unique system, for the benefit of all parties. It should be recognized, however, that all of the participants can and do play a role in getting a project into trouble. My view is that projects that get into trouble usually have an early flaw that leads the project to the edge, and the project participants blindly follow the original mistake right over the cliff like lemmings. This instinctive reaction may be a survival tactic by going along with the group, because any one party that departs from the program or shows a position of weakness is a candidate for sacrifice.

 article #286; publication #29 (ACIP-1997)