When designing a pavilion recently I came across an interesting design question. Can you embed wood columns into concrete piers? My first search for the answer led me to the 2009 IBC.
Section 2304.11.4.1 Posts or columns. Posts or columns supporting permanent structures that are embedded in concrete that is in direct contact with the earth, embedded in concrete that is exposed to the weather or in direct contact with the earth shall be of preservative-treated wood.
Even though wood embedment in concrete is allowed according to the IBC, it is important to check with the local building department for any amendments to the code. Since wood is most susceptible to deterioration in hot and humid climates, Denver county does not have any amendments to the 2009 IBC related to wood embedded in concrete.