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Piling Systems are a Cost-Effective, Versatile Solution for Supporting Heavily Loaded Foundations

Why Use Piling Systems?

In some cases, a deep foundation is the best solution. Piling systems are utilized to create solid foundations within a wide range of deep problem soils. They are very versatile in that they are available in many shapes and sizes and are typically prefabricated or cast in place, depending on the piling system type. Piling systems can allow for rapid construction and are a clean, efficient method for creating sound foundations.

What Are Piling Systems?

Piling systems, or deep foundations, can be generally categorized into two types:  prefabricated and cast-in-place. There are also piles that involve some component of prefabrication combined with cast in place.

Prefabricated Piles
These piling systems are prefabricated, often of metal or concrete, and driven, screwed, drilled, or vibrated into the ground.

Cast in Place
Deep Foundation systems constructed in place are also called caissons, drilled shafts, drilled piers, cast-in-drilled-hole piles (CIDH piles) or Cast-in-Situ.

Other Piles
Some piling systems involve both a pre-fabricated component (typically metal) combined with grout to lend composite properties for certain applications, such as adding frictional capacity.

How are Pilings Constructed?

There are a wide variety of piling or deep foundation systems available, and the choice of method depends on several factors. These include soil type and depth to end-bearing, groundwater and collapsibility of the soil, applied loads, access and space limitations, among other factors.  The following describes the various piling/deep foundation systems available on the market in Ontario today.

Types of Piling Systems/Deep Foundations Available

  • Driven Ductile Iron Piling (DIPs)
  • Helical Screw Piles
  • Drilled Micropiles
  • Driven Piles
  • Caissons/Drilled Shafts
  • Continuous Flight Auger Piles

Piling Systems Comparison

Piling Systems Comparison Ductile Iron Piles Helical Piles Micropiles Driven Piles Caissons Augercast Piles
End-Bearing Capacity? * **
Friction Capacity? ** *** ****
Soil Anchors?
Tight Access/Constrained Sites?
Work from Various Site Grades?
Low Vibration?
Rapid Installation?
Avoids Couplers or Splicing?

*Helical piles use one or more flights of helical plates that are torqued into a firm to dense soil to provide compression and tension capacity
**Micropiles are typically designed for friction capacity only. However, end-bearing resistance can be included, depending on design requirements.
***Driven piles have generally limited friction capacity as the displacement of the in-situ soils is limited, and the strain compatibility between the pile and the soil is poor.
****Caissons are drilled out and can be designed for friction. However, they require stiff-to-hard soils of significant length to develop reasonable capacities in friction.

GeoSolv’s Piling Systems Driven Ductile Iron Piling, Helical Screw Piles and Drilled Micropiles offer distinct advantages for various construction challenges compared to traditional methods such as driven piles (H Piles, Pipe Piles, Precast Concrete Piles), caissons (pier foundations, bored piles, drilled shaft piles), or continuous flight auger piles (CFAs, auger cast piles). To learn if one of GeoSolv’s Innovative Foundation Solutions is right for your project, contact us today for an obligation-free feasibility report or proposal. We are always happy to help you avoid the risks associated with poor soils and deep foundation systems.

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