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RE: Soil-Structure Interaction

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"Not only that, the slab itself has to be designed as if it was an elevated
slab (not a slab on grade)."

That is a matter to discuss with the soils engineer.  Some structures have
sufficiently larger column gravity loads to induce undesirable settlement
and require piles, but do not have problems with slab on grade settlement
due to the much lighter and more dispersed loads the s.o.g. presents.  In
others, the soil under the slab on grade will settle, too, but not so much
as to require a structural slab if some local cracking and uneveness can be
tolerated.  In much the same way, the degree to which the slab seismic loads
will go to the piles can also vary.  Check and see what kind of soil
condition you are dealing with, this will determine your course of action.  

Paul Crocker