Getting your foundations right is one of the most important aspects of any build.

So what are the key things you need to know when installing pile foundations to avoid any unnecessary delays to the build?

We’ve identified 4 crucial steps for the design and installation of effective pile foundations so they are approved the first time around.

1. Drawings and Calculations

  • Get a Structural Engineer to prepare a pile layout drawing.
  • Make sure it includes pile reference numbers and the amount of load each pile will be subjected to.
  • Ensure calculations demonstrate how the load amount figure was generated for each pile.

2. Site Investigation Report

  • Conduct a geotechnical site investigation along and beneath the piles.
  • Ensure investigations extend to at least 3 times the pile diameter or a minimum of 5 metres in accordance with BS5930/EC7 guidelines.

3. Factor of Safety

  • This will be determined based on the design, site investigation and pile load testing.
  • It should have a factor of safety rating of between 2 and 3 in accordance with BS8004 guideline.

4. Testing

Testing needs to be carried out to ensure the foundations meet the design requirements. There are two types of testing available which are:

  • Static load testing – consisting of preliminary pile tests and working pile tests
  • Dynamic load testing – this is an acceptable form of testing provided that a settlement analysis is provided for each type and the dynamic testing reflects the detail of the site investigation report, ground conditions and factor of safety.

By Anna Cross

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