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UK Construction, like European construction, must embrace driven piling. With the government committed to almost unparalleled infrastructure spend, recognising the benefits it brings to economic growth and stability in the wake of Brexit, UK construction must start embracing the many benefits, in particular environmental, of precast driven piling and challenge the misconceptions the technique may have. Aarsleff Ground Engineering Ltd is championing this perception change and growing rapidly as a result.

Much of mainland Europe consider precast driven piling the norm for many project types, yet despite its many documented advantages, the UK shows very little enthusiasm for the technique – favouring bored methodologies in preference. Much of this bias comes from familiarity with existing techniques and an unwillingness to explore new ones. However, with the scrutiny that will be placed on new infrastructure projects with regards to their environmental impact, driven piling may, at last, get the status it deserves.

A number of technical papers and research projects published both here and in Europe support driven pilings advantages. Technically precast piles present an alternative, robust and cost-effective piling solution for many civil engineering and infrastructure projects, especially over existing methods currently deployed. From the reinforcing steel that gives the reinforced concrete pile its strength, most of which is from recycled sources, sustainability is engineered into driven piles. Aarsleff’s piles are manufactured off-site at its sister company Centrum Precast Solutions, which is a fully quality-controlled environment. Waste is managed, recycled and innovation of the concrete processes has led to a vast reduction in cement use. Off-site pile manufacture has also been recognised as offering further environmental benefits, and not least in the ability to provide “just-in-time” deliveries minimising disruption to the local neighbourhood.

A precast driven pile, dependent on geology, will typically mobilise higher values of shaft adhesion, often allowing the use of shorter piles than those of a similar section size, formed using wet concrete placed in the ground. This too brings considerable material savings, especially on large developments and an associated CO2 saving from cement manufacture and from the associated reduction in fuel use through fewer on-site machine-hours. This benefit may well be even higher when the variation in acceptable design factors of safety is taken into consideration. In addition, precast concrete piles displace soil as they are driven, so there is no bore spoil to handle and remove from site. Not having to remove bore spoil from site saves a considerable amount of CO2 and cost from a reduction in traffic.

Aarsleff is part of an international group of companies with offices all over Europe, and as such can pull on vast knowledge resources to offer piling and ground engineering solutions to the UK construction sector. The wind farm sector uses precast driven piles almost exclusively, where the benefits of “raked” piles are gaining momentum. Other sectors are following, but many more, especially those actively involved in infrastructure projects, need to embrace driven piles – the benefits and advantages are clear.

For more information about Aarsleff Ground Engineering or to send in your enquir, call 01636 611140 and speak to a member of our expert team today, or drop us an email 

01636 611140

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