Piling is the very foundation of construction and it provides the fundamental support that is needed for any kind of structure or building. The underground structural base of any building has to be very strong in order to support large buildings and so the choice of materials is important.
The most commonly used materials in the this process are wood, steel or concrete. The insertion of such materials deep into the ground ensures a strong base for the construction of the building. Piling requires the use of the right equipment such as shoring equipment, piling equipment, pipe plugs & testing, utility equipment, temporary bridges among others.
Types of Piling
Wood pilingAdvantages ● Easy handling where sections can be joined and easy removal of excess lengths ● Where wood is in abundance they are less costly Disadvantages ● Splicing is difficult and the piles will rot above the groundwater level and are readily attacked by marine borers in salt water ● Easily damaged during driving by stones and boulders and have a limited bearing
Steel pilingAdvantages ● Easy handling, can easily be cut to desired length, easily spliced or bolted ● Can be driven hard through dense layers and in very long lengths with low displacement of soil laterally ● Can be successfully anchored in sloping rock and can carry heavy loads Disadvantages ● Higher costs involved ● Corrosion takes place
Prefabricated concrete piling (reinforced) and pre-stressed concrete pilingAdvantages ● Resistance to corrosion and rotting ● Splicing is easy, can be driven in long lengths ● Checking on the quality of the concrete before driving ● Checking on soft clays, silts and peats before piling ● Can be redriven if affected by ground heave ● Relatively inexpensive Disadvantages ● Relatively difficult to cut ● During driving soil is displaced and disturbed
Driven and cast-in-place concrete pilingAdvantages ● Can be cast before excavation ● Can easily be cut or extended to the required length, thus are adjustable ● Minimum noise level ● Relatively inexpensive Disadvantages ● Cannot be driven where headroom is limited ● Tensile damage to unreinforced piles or piles consisting of green concrete ● Damage may be caused to the light steel section or the precast concrete shells ● Limitation in length as lifting forces are required to withdraw casing ● Nearby retaining walls and adjacent structures may be displaced
View the video below to understand more on the piling process.