Engineers Australia

Precast driven piles in the Melbourne Region – A brief overview of current practice

Ben Collingwood

Abstract

Precast piling remains a practical and cost effective foundation solution for many projects within Melbourne and its surrounds. This paper presents an overview of current practice in relation to pile design, pile loadings, installation methodologies and load testing and verification. Compression only pile joints have been used in the Melbourne market. The suitability of this type of joint is discussed and the problems associated with the use of compression only joints are highlighted. Some common construction difficulties are outlined and solutions to overcome these problems are presented. Environmental considerations are becoming increasingly important, particularly around inner city areas. This sometimes leads to reluctance to adopt a driven pile solution. However, with the use of sound attenuated hammers and appropriate vibration monitoring and mitigation, driven precast piles continue to be used successfully in sensitive urban locations.