Deep Foundations

In case, the strata of good bearing capacity is not available near the ground, the foundation of the structure has to be taken deep with the purpose of attaining a bearing stratum which is suitable in all respects.


Comparison of deep foundation of Twin Tower Malaysia with its super structure


In addition there may be many other conditions which may require deep foundations for ensuring stability and durability of a structure. For example, the foundation for a bridge pier must be placed below the scour depth, although suitable bearing stratum may exist at a higher level. The most common forms of construction pertaining to deep foundations are


1) Piles

2) Caissons

3) Basement or Hollow Box Foundation


A pile is basically a long cylinder of a strong material such as concrete that is pushed into the ground to act as a steady support for structures built on top of it.
Pile foundation is required when the soil bearing capacity is not sufficient for the structure to withstand. This is due to the soil condition or the order of bottom layers, type of loads on foundations, conditions at site and operational conditions.
Pile foundations can be made of wood, concrete or steel and can be either precast or cast on site in case of concrete.


A caisson foundation also called as pier foundation is a watertight retaining structure used as a bridge pier, in the construction of a concrete dam, or for the repair of ships. It is a prefabricated hollow box or cylinder sunk into the ground to some desired depth and then filled with concrete thus forming a foundation.

Caisson foundations are similar in form to pile foundations, but are installed using a different method. It is used when soil of adequate bearing strength is found below surface layers of weak materials such as fill or peat. It is a form of deep foundation which are constructed above ground level, then sunk to  the required level by excavating or dredging material from within the caisson.

Basement or Hollow Box Foundation

In this type of foundation excavation is carried out and then foundation is constructed. Methods are quite similar to those used in foundations used in above ground level except that special consideration is given to water proofing and lateral earth pressure is taken into account in design. Furthermore the effect of possible fluctuations in the groundwater table and of flooding during and after construction should be considered.