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Technical paper: Driving piles adjacent to vibration-sensitive structures – a case history

WJ Grose BSc(Eng), MICE & D Kaye, FIStructE. This paper was first published in GE’s May 1986 edition.


As part of a phased housing development in London’s docklands an eight storey block of flats with basement is under construction on a site fronting the River Thames. The ground conditions are essentially similar to those found elsewhere along the Thames in the London area, consisting of made ground over river mud, Flood Plain Gravel and London Clay. Although the proposed n building is in close proximity to two vibrationsensitive structures, nearly 400 bottom driven cast-in-situ piles with expanded bases were successfully founded in the gravel. This resulted in a substantial cost savin ompared with the alternative of bored piles founded in the London Clay and Woolwich and Reading Beds.

The method of organising the contract included the facility to revert to bored piles if during the trial pile programme the driven piles proved to be technically unacceptable. 

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