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Property Surveying Blog
February 9, 2017

Driven Piles Explained!

Written by Beau Davies


Over the years at Berry Lodge, our surveying team have dealt with numerous different types of construction methods. One being foundations and on more structurally complex construction projects piled foundations.

Tubular steel piles are produced in many different lengths ranging from 2-12 long, and 100-400mm in diameter depending on the size of the proposed building or structure. They are also able to be welded together to form some different custom lengths.

The piles used in this video were in 2-metre lengths.

This method of piling drives a long hollow steel tube into the ground using a weighted rig.

This rig holds the pile in place while raising and dropping a considerable weight into the tube to drive it into the soil.

The first pile has a pointed end which enables it to be driven into the ground with ease.

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The pile is driven in until it reaches the subsoil or ‘base’, this is the soil that can support the weight of the proposed structure.

However, in areas of softer soil, this base may be 5-6m below ground level and so may require more than a single 2m pile to reach it.

If the first pile does not reach the ‘base’ after being driven, 300mm before it ends, another 2-metre pile is welded to the first pile and driven in using the same method.

This is repeated until the pile is unable to be driven any further into the soil, meaning that the first pile has reached the layer of solid soil capable of bearing the weight of the proposed structure.

Each 6m pile takes around 45 minutes to drive into the ground. Once the piles have been driven in, they are filled with concrete to increase their loading capacity, i.e., the weight they can hold.

This is far more cost and time efficient when compared to days of digging and the concrete that would be used for a traditional strip foundation at a similar depth.

Excavation within 3 or even 6 meters of a neighbours structure invokes the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, if you’re planning on an extension or building a property that requires piled foundations and you require a little more information in regards to the Party Wall procedures give us a call now, and we would be happy to advise you.