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Which one is a better choice, a large diameter piles or a system of several smaller piles with the same load capacity?

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The choice of a large diameter pile suffers from the disadvantage that serious consequences would occur in case there is setting out error of the pile.


Moreover, in terms of cost consideration, for the same load capacity the cost of a group of small diameter piles is generally lower than that of a large diameter pile. On the other hand, for small diameter piles i.e. mini-piles, they are advantageous in site locations with limited headroom and space.

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In addition, in some structures with only a few piles, it is uneconomic because of its high mobilization cost. Reference is made to Dr. Edmund C Hambly (1979).

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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