Good day everyone! A coworker of mine is working on a project in San Francisco, CA. One aspect of the project is a multi-story concrete shear wall building. The building is part of the wastewater treatment plant and is only 4 stories tall but with heavy dead loads due to the equipment. A number of structural engineers from multiple firms are collaborating on the project and there is some disagreement on how to design the pile foundations for the seismic load. Some people believe that the piles should be designed for the base shear of the building calculated with the redundancy factor and importance factor, R and I. Other people believe the piles should be designed for the maximum load the piles can 'see' which would basically be the design acceleration, Sds, without the R and I factors times the seismic weight. I can understand both sides of the argument so I'm interested in seeing what other people's opinions are on this.
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