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Like screwing into the wood: Screw pile foundation

category

Konstruktion

author

Sebastian Funk

Abstract

The modular building method has a lot of advantages due to the prefabrication in a perfect environment. However the supply and disposal of matter and the foundation have to solved at the site. For the foundation of light buildings there is a simple  technique: the screw pile foundation.

Technology

In many cases we do not need excavations and concrete foundations. With screwed piles the foundation can be quickly and easy. Screw pile foundations are a type of pile foundation with a helix near the pile toe so that the piles can be screwed into the ground. The process and concept is similar to screwing into wood. As there are no special casings required and no delays related to concrete curing, driven piles are well suited to difficult site conditions. They can be used immediately when driven through water, can be used in a large diameter form in earthquake-prone regions.

While Screw pile foundations were originally developed for the nautical industry, they are now used in rail, road, telecommunications, and civil engineering. Screw piles can bear large tensile and compression loads, so they are often used for masts, signs, and retaining structures.

Advantages

  • Ease of installation, using fewer machines and taking less time.
    Faster installation. Piles can be pre-fabricated off-site which allows for efficient installation once on site.
  • Installation usually produces little spoil for removal and disposal.
  • They are cost-effective
  • Ability to install in close proximity to existing structures.
  • Ease of removal when no longer needed.

Disadvantages

  • Driven piles may not be suitable for compact sites, where the foundations of structures in close proximity may be affected by the vibrations caused by installation.
  • Driven piles can be noisy to install and vibrations can result in complaints from neighbours, who may become aware of pre-existing problems with their own building that they then blame on piling vibration.