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GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEERING HAS OFTEN BEEN CHALLENGED BY DEMANDS FROM TECHNICALLY AND ECONOMICALLY BOLD CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS, SUCH AS THAT OF TALL BUILDINGS. THE ARCHITECTURAL REQUIREMENTS OF THESE BUILDINGS HAVE INCREASED AND CONCENTRATED THE LOADS FROM STRUCTURAL SYSTEMS WITHOUT PROPORTIONALLY INCREASING PLANT AREA. NEW FORMS OF USING LOAD CAPACITY AND SETTLEMENT CONTROL HAVE BEEN ASSESSED TO OPTIMIZE CONVENTIONAL DESIGNS. THUS, PILED FOUNDATIONS STARTED TO ALLOW FOR THE CONTRIBUTION OF BLOCK–SOIL CONTACT, BEING CONCEPTUALLY NAMED PILED RAFT. IN THIS SENSE, THIS STUDY ANALYZED THE CONTRIBUTION OF CONTACT IN PILED FOUNDATIONS COMPOSED OF ONE, TWO, THREE AND FOUR INSTRUMENTED BORE PILES 25 CM IN DIAMETER ( ) AND 5 M IN LENGTH (L). EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS SHOWED A 21% AVERAGE CONTRIBUTION OF BLOCK–SOIL IN RELATION TO THE TOTAL PILED FOUNDATION CAPACITY. THIS RESULT DEMONSTRATES THE NEED TO RE-EVALUATE TRADITIONAL CALCULATION REQUIREMENTS, AIMING AT RATIONALIZING THE GEOTECHNICAL DESIGN AND IMPROVING THE OVERALL SAFETY/STABILITY OF THE SYSTEM.
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