Piling is probably the safest, well established, and most effective form of creating a strong building foundation and is used for everything from under-pinning homes to basing major engineering mega-structures such as bridges, skyscrapers, or oil rigs.
There are other uses for piling as it can also be used as an efficient and cost-effective way of building a retaining wall, especially in the form of contiguous piling.
What Is Contiguous Piling?
Contiguous piling is a form of creating or constructing a retaining wall by inserting a row of augured piles that are almost in touching distance of one another.
There are different ways of inserting an augured pile, but the most common ways are either:
- Boring holes with continuous steel-based sections, which can then be removed and the hole filled up with concrete
- To bore with a continuous steel flight, which can then have grout pumped into the hollow centre as it’s removed, very similar to shuttering.
- Piles are inserted with small gaps between them at around 50-150mm which will be packed with soil to fill the gaps. This can then be grouted before a second wall is constructed in front of the piles to help reinforce everything.
What are the uses of contiguous piling?
Common uses may be for constructing basement-type buildings, where the contiguous piles can be inserted and used as a retaining wall. These can be in place as the basement is excavated so everything can work as one process. They can then be removed and replaced by a solid retaining wall, or you can leave the piling in place so you can add a second wall in front.
Other uses OF contiguous piling may be for inserting substructures close to an already existing structure, where large-scale excavation might not be the best option. It can also be used for helping to stabilise inclines or slopes. Contiguous piling can be used to maintain the ground on close or adjoining properties.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of contiguous piling?
The best advantage of using contiguous piling is the process of inserting them creates very little vibration. As the piles are bored, rather than driven, the noise and vibrations are kept to a minimum which helps to make this an ideal method for use in smaller built-up areas or close to other building structures.
Compared with other ways of adding retaining walls, contiguous piling requires no extra excavation, which will always make it great for use in confined spaces or near other close-by structures.
The only real disadvantages to using contiguous piles are occasions where there is soil with high water content as this method works best in dry and firm soil.
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