ADM Penman, DSc, CEng, FICE. This paper was first published in GE’s October 1985 edition.
The purpose of this short article is to share the experience of making piles in plateau drift overlying chalk to support a two-storey construction. Some piles were made in the traditional way with a lorry-mounted power auger, but others were made by driving a sacrificial nose-cone by down-hole hammer. The plateau drift, which has been described by Loveday (1962), contains large flints, which caused some trouble to the power auger. A selection of flints removed from the soil are shown in Fig. 1.
A study of damage to houses on shrinkable clay, made by the Building Research Station more than thirty years ago, led to the recommendation of short-bored pile foundations that have been described by Ward Er Green (1952), Green (1961), Penman (1952, 1954) and recently in BRE Digest 242. In the presence of shrubs and small trees on shrinkable clay this type of foundation is particularly valuable in avoiding the seasonal movements that occur in the upper layers.