Unsupported browser

For a better experience, please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Technical paper: Piles for houses

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. 

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.