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5 Types of Pile Foundation

Different types of piling can be categorised by either the purpose of their design or by the method used to supply and install them.


An end-bearing pile is designed to transfer the bulk of its load directly to the base or toe of the pile once a solid layer is penetrated, whereas a friction pile transfers its load along the entire shaft using friction between the pile and soil to achieve the required load when a solid layer cannot be penetrated.

There's a number of ways to construct and install the different types of piling:

1. Bored Piling

Bored Pile In Blue Clay

Bored piles are installed by auguring into the ground forming a hole into which concrete can be poured, thereby casting the pile in position. This method of piling is well suited for work in cities and areas surrounding existing buildings as the vibration caused by installation is minimised.

An open bored pile is constructed by boring into the ground and removing the augur stem forming an open hole into which steel and concrete can be installed, which is suitable for cohesive ground with low water tables. When a pile is augured and the concrete is poured before the augers are extracted it is referred to as a CFA pile (continuous flight auger) or SFA pile (sectional flight auger). 

2. Driven Piling

Driven Concrete Pile


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Driven piles are driven or hammered into the ground with the use of vibration. This method of piling is well suited for foundations in non-cohesive soils, ground with a high water table and for soils that contain contaminates.


Driven piles can be cast in position by using temporary or permanent steel casing. They can also be prepared off site by using pre-cast piles, which can be created using steel, timer, wood, concrete or a combination of these.

3. Screw Piling

Stack of Screw Pilies

Screw piles use circular hollow galvanised steel pile shafts with one or more steel helices attached to them and are fastened into the ground much like a screw is fastened into wood.


This type of pile minimises the spoil created by installation and in some instances may provide a more sustainable and cost effective alternative to other methods.

4. Sheet Piling

Series of Sheet Piles

Sheet piles, a type of driven pile, are constructed with a series of interlocking steel sheets. They can be used to create permanent or temporary retaining walls on construction sites where large excavations are required.

This method of piling can be very cost effective on sites where temporary soil retention is necessary as the sheets can removed and used again on different sites once the ground works have been completed.

5. Mini Piling

Mini Pile Excatation

Mini piles, also known as micro piles, typically range in sizes from 100 mm - 400 mm in diameter. What distinguishes mini piles from other pile types, however, has more to do with how and where they are installed than just the pile size itself.


In locations with restricted access smaller sized piling rigs have been required in order to install piles on sites where traditional piling rigs could not operate. This opens up many options for commercial & domestic development in the city.

Read more about piling contractors →

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