Piling and foundations

Piling and foundations

Whether it's a house foundation package or a city skyscraper, we design and install our solutions to fit your project.

We offer a full suite of piling solutions including:

Rotary or large diameter piling

Primarily used for large public, commercial and industrial developments as well as transport infrastructure projects, we are one of the largest contractors in this field. We have specialist expertise in delivering large, complex and technically challenging projects.

In addition to the basic technique we utilise specialist adaptations to suit certain ground conditions or site requirements such as oscillator piles where minimal disturbance is critical; top down construction which enables above ground building to commence at the same time as the basement levels to reduce the programme; under reams for very high loads and drilling fluids such as bentonite and vinyl polymer, where the bore requires support during excavation.

Always seeking to innovate we have, in partnership with City University, London, also introduced and successfully trialled hollow piles which offer a number of sustainability benefits.

In the video below, Steve Bauld explains the piling works at the One Nine Elms construction project in Vauxhall, London.

Continuous flight auger piling (CFA)

This solution is ideal for noise and environmentally sensitive sites for both load bearing piles and excavation support. Suitable for all soil types, it is fast to install and is ideal for retaining walls. As it causes minimal disturbance it poses limited risk to adjacent structures.

Our integrated rig instrumentation system allows us to monitor installation and measure data such as depth, concrete pressure, volume and productivity. We use this data to produce graphical representations of pile conformity as a historical reference.

Driven piling

We can install precast concrete and steel tube piles. Precast concrete piles are suitable for a wide range of applications and most ground conditions. Manufactured off-site, they are unaffected by ground water, produce no spoil and can be used for immediate follow-on construction.

We have a number of adaptations that can be utilised. For example, on contaminated land, modifications can be made to the pile section in line with Environment Agency guidelines: and in areas where environmental disturbance needs to be kept to a minimum we offer the most up-to-date, enclosed hydraulic hammers which significantly reduce noise.

We have recently introduced a technique whereby protruding pile remnants are trimmed off by us following installation and re-driven as lead piles, thereby reducing pile wastage to zero.


Pile manufacture

Our two factories manufacture all our precast piles, so as well as having full quality control we have also been able to ensure that our manufacturing processes are as sustainable as possible. This includes the use of 100% harvested rainwater, 99% recycled steel reinforcement and a minimum of 25% cement replacement in the production of all our precast piles.

We are also experienced in producing non-standard pile sizes and reinforcement to meet specific needs, as well as in setting up modular pile production units if required.

Our precast piles are available to order for third party installation.

Our Balmore Factory, Scotland can provide:

  • 190mm square
  • 235mm square
  • 275mm square
  • 350mm square

Our Bottesford Factory, Nottinghamshire can provide:

  • 190mm square
  • 235mm square
  • 275mm square
  • 300mm square
  • 350mm square
  • 400mm square

Limited access - mini piling

Where sites are complicated by limited access restrictions our fleet of specialised mini and micro pile rigs enables us to offer a wide range of techniques. We can offer viable solutions on even the most restricted sites.

We can deploy piling rigs capable of fitting through doorways, being lifted on to site or use lightweight rigs where weight restrictions apply. We have also developed special short masts for our larger rigs, allowing piles up to 600mm diameter to be installed when working next to railway lines during normal hours.

House foundations

House Foundations offer complete foundation solutions suited to any low-rise development and have achieved recognition from the National House Building Council and attained the appropriate British Standards.

Houses, schools, doctor's surgeries, polyclinics, barracks, and light commercial developments are accommodated. Traditional build, timber-frame, and steel frame developments all dovetail with the system minimising on-site waste and improving programme efficiency.

All beams are manufactured off-site at our precast pile factory.

Foundation and piling technical advancements

Geothermal piles
We have developed a method of combining our large diameter, CFA, precast concrete and steel piles with plastic closed circuit loops filled with a heat transfer fluid which can then be used, in conjunction with a ground source heat pump, to heat and cool the building using the energy from the ground.

In view of the complexity of the planning and engineering processes necessary for ground storage systems, the architect, structural engineer, geotechnical engineer, geothermal engineer and building services engineer need to be included early on to undertake an integrated feasibility study.

Enlarged heads
Enlarged heads are an add-on to precast and CFA piles that spread the load of a building or embankment over a greater area. This ensures that increased loads can be placed on the piles without the risk of the pile puncturing the slab or geo-membrane. Enlarged heads have an efficient installation process and can be completed safely whilst other trades are operating.

Removal and coring of existing piles
We have successfully removed piles of up to 600mm diameter and 26 metres in length. Dependent upon a number of factors the bore can be backfilled to permit construction of a new pile. We can also core through existing brick and concrete foundations at pile positions so that they do not have to be removed using excavation methods.

The removal of existing piles can provide a sustainable and economic solution for new developments on urban projects.

Re-use of piles
Re-using existing piles can lead to cost savings and reduction in programme as well as reducing the environmental impact of a project. We have successfully tested existing piles for re-use in projects where we undertook the historic piling and had the as-built piling records, as well as in projects where the original piling records are unavailable. Vigorous testing is undertaken to ensure that the pile is reliable and can be re-used.