Below Ground Blog Image Water Piling Foundations 1

Can you use piling foundations in water?Below Ground Blog Image Water Piling Foundations 1

Published: 31st January 2017

As you are probably aware, piling entails the driving of piles into the earth below ground level, pile foundations are then used to strengthen the soil which will support the weight load of the building erected on top of it. The bigger the building, the deeper the foundations required.

Piling foundations can be used in water. When ground conditions are wet (or soft or granular) driven piles are usually used. Driven piles are ideally suited for marine and other near shore applications, as they don’t require any special casings and there are no delays related to the curing of concrete. They are formed from wood, reinforced concrete or steel, the choice of material depends on the ground conditions and soil strata. They are driven into the ground using a drop hammer piling rig (similarly to how nails would be driven into timber). Individual pile tube lengths vary from 1 to 5 meters and if they’re made from steel they are fully welded together during the pile driving process. The piles are driven to a predetermined depth which will be calculated in advance by a structural engineer and then filled with reinforcement and concrete. Piles driven through water can be used immediately which allows construction to proceed in timely and efficient manner. When constructing bridges or piers, driven piles can be quickly incorporated into a bent structure allowing the bridge or pier itself to be used as the work platform for succeeding piles in top down construction. Driven piles can also be used to construct temporary trestles in order to minimise disturbance in wetlands or to allow work over water. If piles are installed to meet temporary construction needs they must be extracted when no longer needed.

Pile foundations were ideal when The above waterside home on the Thames was constructed as they allow the house to move slightly and water to travel underneath should any flooding occur.


Wooden piles are still used to make jetties. In this instance, one requires trees with exceptionally straight trunks. The length of the pile is limited the length of a single tree (around 20m) since one cannot join two trunks together. The entire city of Venice in Italy was famously constructed on wooden piles over the sea water.

Below Ground Blog Image Water Piling Foundations 2

Contact Belowground Ltd today for a free, no obligation piling quote. Once our piling driving experts have visited and assessed your site they will be able to advise you on the most suitable piling materials and techniques to use on your project. We will happily supply you with a free estimate of the services and materials you will require. We pride ourselves on providing highly cost-effective services and materials. Your construction is in safe hands, during over 25 years in the industry we have worked with a broad range of commercial and private clients across the UK. After the piling process is complete on hand to provide you with further services including the installation of reinforced ground beams and/or slabs.