Application of pile-raft foundations, which are known as “compound foundations”, is a suitable alternative in the case of heavy load structures. The interaction behavior of pile raft foundations makes these systems very complex to analyze. Different methods have been proposed to determine the bearing capacity of piled raft systems and distribution of loads between the components, i.e. pile group and mat. These methods are generally categorized into computer-based and conventional methods. In most of these methods, the bearing capacity of the mat, which is often a great portion of the total capacity, is neglected. Also, some model parameters used in these methods, as well as pile group or raft stiffness, cannot be determined by routine tests or calculations. In this study, a number of recent analytical methods of piled raft system are presented. A new method is then proposed which is based on settlement analysis of piled raft foundation and distribution of load between pile group and mat foundation, which regards the interaction of compound systems as an equivalent block foundation. In this approach, settlement is computed based on the concept of neutral plane according to which relative settlement of soil and pile group become the same. Two practical case studies are implemented for validation of the method. The comparison demonstrates favorable results for the proposed method.


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