Assessment of the quality and lifetime of wooden pile foundations
R W W M Klaassen, A Jorissen, H Keijer
The development of wooden pile foundations started centuries ago and enable man to build and live in strategic and fertile areas. Although the building methods, the building materials and the building regulations chanced especially over the last decades, worldwide wooden pile foundations still fulfil their function to support above ground constructions of which many belong to our cultural heritage. In the Netherlands wooden foundations are a national bench mark and Amsterdam is often regarded as the City on wooden piles. The pile population in service is estimated on 25 million and as they are carrying many ordinary family houses and water building constructions their importance is far above building history. The behaviour of wood in the soil and the special threats for pile foundations asked for an adapted method in order to assess the actual and future status of these underground constructions. This paper describes a method quantifying the actual and future stability taking in to account the special behaviour of wood in constructions in the ground. This method was developed in the last decades in the Netherlands by a multidisciplinary group of researchers.