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I do not believe the number of piles has anything to do with this provision however you may want to look closely at the last part of that paragraph which reads, "...or confinement by competent rock, hard cohesive soils, or very dense granular soils".  This last exception allows you to use the soil passive pressure against the pile cap in lieu of grade beams and is why you sometimes see very thick pile caps without grade beams.  This exception should not be taken lightly as it requires that you pour the pile cap against very good native soil or properly compacted structural backfill.  Physically tieing the pile caps together is structurally the best way to go.

Thomas Hunt, S.E.
ABS Consulting

"Will H" <haynewp(--nospam--at)>

06/18/2004 05:58 AM

Please respond to


According to this provision in IBC, "Individual pile caps, piers or piles
shall be interconnected by ties".

1) I interpret this to mean basically that all pile caps must be connected
no matter how many piles per pile cap. I have a friend who thinks this means
only pile caps that have (1) pile are required to be tied to other caps to
achieve lateral stability. And if there are (2) piles in a cap, this means
the pile cap only needs to be tied in one direction and not both. Am I

2) When tieing all these caps together, what is the usual approach in
handling the force from the lateral resisting elements? For example, I tie a
typical column supporting pile cap to the pile cap of my large shear wall,
this grade beam will also be receiving a large load from the shear wall cap.

I am new to deep foundations, thank you for any advice


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