Driven piles are one of the oldest piling techniques known to engineers.
It comprises of rigid structural elements driven into the soil formation till refusal is achieved. The piles in the form of square timber elements, circular or square precast or pre-stressed concrete elements are driven by means of hydraulic hammers into soft soils and form rigid inclusions into the ground that take moderate loads from overlying built up structures.
Driven piles are suitable for special applications where soft ground conditions such as alluvial clays (river deltas) or saturated silty sands are encountered. NSCC was the first to introduce piled foundations to the UAE in the early 1970s through the use of driven, precast and cast in situ piles. Preformed precast piles (circular or square) were driven into place using percussive techniques such as diesel and drop hammers, and later replaced with the more modern hydraulic hammers.
Cast-in-situ piles usually refer to the driving of tubular piles with a closed bottom shoe into the ground till refusal is reached. Upon refusal, steel and concrete are installed into the tube before its withdrawal from the ground.
Today, with more advanced piling and ground improvement solutions, this technique is hardly used in the Gulf anymore.