Are you wondering which type of foundation pile would best support your new or existing coastal building? Here at K.E. Braza Construction, we understand all property needs vary. We will assist you in finding not only the best foundations for your shoreline home, but also deliver the highest quality of craftsmanship to ensure the best results for your residence.
What Are Pile Foundations Used For?
Pile foundations are used to increase the structural stability of the foundation of a building in areas where loose or erosion-prone soil is located. They are also used to elevate buildings in flood zones and ensure structures like piers and retaining walls are properly anchored and secure enough to withstand storms and waves.
Bored Pile Foundation
Bored piles are round or cylindrical piles that are constructed out of concrete that is typically poured in place. For this method, the holes are drilled, concrete is poured into the hole, and rebar is added to increase the pile’s strength. If drilling and pouring are performed simultaneously, bored piles are then known as continuous flight auger piles. Bored piles are extremely popular in cities and areas alike where building and population density are high.
Bored Pile Pros
- Can be poured into areas with very little overhead.
- There are zero risks of soil heaving.
- Has the ability to be used where headroom is limited.
- Length of the piles can be varied.
- Large diameter piles can be created.
- Soil removal from boreholes can be tested.
Bored Pile Cons
- Displaced soil must be removed from the site leading to additional costs.
- Cannot be used in extremely loose or cohesionless soils.
- Piles can be deformed due to localized stress being put on the curing material (known as waisting or necking).
Driven Pile Foundation
Driven piles are similar to bored piles because they are constructed using concrete. The difference is that these piles have either a permanent or temporary metal casing that is removed after the concrete has hardened and cured. They are called driven piles because they are either driven, vibrated, or jacked into the ground. These piles can be constructed in place or prefabricated in a factory and transported to the site. Typically, they are used in offshore applications where the soil is extremely loose or prone to squeezing.
Driven Pile Pros
- They are extremely cost-effective.
- There is increased bearing capacity through compaction and displacement of soil.
- There is increased efficiency if piles are manufactured off-site.
- They are often considered a total engineering solution for foundations.
Driven Pile Cons
- If manufactured off-site, piles must be reinforced for transport.
- Installation must be preplanned and organized.
- There is a lot of overhead room needed to install piles.
- They are not ideal for urban areas due to the installation noise.
Micropiles are used for deep foundation support. They can be used in new and existing buildings to improve the structural stability of the foundation. These piles are typically three to 10 inches in diameter and can be drilled to depths upwards of 200 feet.
- Can be combined with other types of piles.
- Can be used in areas of limited access.
- Can be used in areas with difficult subsurface conditions.
- They’re not susceptible to necking, waisting, or problems associated with loose soils.
- Utility lines may not have to be rerouted due to small diameter.
- They support vertical and lateral loads.
- They’re expensive when compared to other types of foundation piles.
- May buckle or fail if exposed to seismic activity (earthquakes).
Pile Wall Foundation
Pile walls are a series of closely spaced piles that are used to create a temporary or permanent retaining wall. These walls prevent soil erosion and flooding along coastal properties.
Pile Wall Pros
- Easy and relatively quick construction and installation.
- Contain great load-bearing capacity.
- Preferred in areas that have extremely difficult ground conditions.
Pile Wall Cons
- Deep pile construction may not have the desired vertical tolerances.
- It can be extremely difficult to achieve waterproofing between piles.
Screw Pile Foundation
Screw piles are known as helix piles or helical anchors because they have a helix – similar to the spiral ridge alongside a screw – near the bottom of the pile that helps anchor it into the soil. Screw piles are screwed into the ground versus being hammered or vibrated into place.
Screw Pile Pros
- Can be installed in marginal weather conditions.
- Great for locations with limited access.
- Great for remote locations.
- Load capacity increases after installation.
- No set or cure time (can be immediately loaded after installation).
- Quick installation (about five minutes per 10 feet).
Screw Pile Cons
- Should not be installed in soil that contains rick, gravel, or cobble deposits.
- Installation equipment must be chosen following the soil conditions and site access limitations.
- Installation torque limits must be considered to not overstress the pile while screwing it into the ground.
K.E. Braza: Here to Help You with CT Coastal Construction Foundation Projects
Proper coastal construction starts with the right pile foundation for your soil conditions and proximity to the waterline. Here at K.E Braza, we will come out to your site, inspect the property and soil, and recommend the right pile foundation for your building. To learn more about pile foundations, how they keep your building structurally sound during storms, and why we are the top coastal construction company serving Madison, Guilford, Old Saybrook and all of coastal CT, give us a call at 860-662-0124!