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Deep Foundations Institute Publishes Helical Pile Foundation Design Guide

June 2019

The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) recently published the first ever Helical Pile Foundation Guide.  The Helical Piles and Tiebacks Committee of Deep Foundations Institute prepared this document as a reference for engineers, contractors, building officials, and other construction trade practitioners for the design and review of helical pile foundation and helical anchor projects.  The committee’s goal was to prepare a short, easy-to-follow guide for the preliminary design and selection of helical piles and anchors.  Other sources of information, computer programs, and references for more detailed calculations are cited.  This document is intended to be used by engineers and designers with appropriate background knowledge of theoretical soil mechanics and foundation design methods.

Sections of the Design Guide are Organized as Follows:

  • Section 1 provides a description of the evolution of helical pile technology, applications, advantages and limitations, prevailing codes and governing design methodologies.
  • Section 2 includes a schematic of pile elements and a glossary of terms.
  • Section 3 describes helical pile components and installation methods.
  • Section 4 overviews general design flow and considerations, construction and site feasibility, pile selection, and loads and loading conditions.
  • Section 5 outlines geotechnical design processes, including axial and lateral capacity, displacement, seismic behavior, and other factors that affect capacity.
  • Section 6 details structural design processes, including shaft, helix, coupler and pile cap design, buckling, and elastic deformation.
  • Section 7 discusses corrosion protection.
  • Sections 8 presents load testing standards and procedures.
  • Section 9 overviews quality control of site investigation and construction activities.
  • Section 10 lists references.


The cost for the Design Guide is $50 and it can be purchased and downloaded by clicking here