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Piling: Preparing for the Quotes 2 - costing



Making a sensible guess at what it might cost

We already know from the previous Blog Post that , at the moment, Stone Columns is the preferred method. So, it's straight to SPONS for a look-see.

 Here's a link to the book, it's expensive, but it's saved me more money than I care to count - and here's the twist - it's increased my level of confidence no end. Because I know what a reasonable price is likely to be. Here's the link to a post I made about it recently - goes into more detail than I do here (I don't want to repeat myself, people get bored so I'm told). This blog post will illustrate how useful the book can be: or how useful it is to me.

SPONS  - the hardback book has a few pages on piling (Chapter 7 p.238 et seq), and when you buy it you also get the licence for an online version - and that allows you to search for 'piling' across the whole book. Suddenly you are aware of all sorts of things to do with piling, as well as the charges directly attributable to piling. So, for example I find that a CFA team consists of 3 blokes (sorry 'people'), their rates  of pay and so on. Very absorbing.


And that's useful because it begins to redress the 'expert' , 'customer' imbalance. Fuller information promotes partnership and engagement. I accept that some may not want that, but I do.


Many piling methods need a piling mat. Some don't (Surefoot for example) See also my previous blog post

So the key for me at the moment is how to sort out the piling mat.


The Basics

There are two elements to piling: the piles themselves and the piling and the area which needs to be prepared for the rig. It's called a ' Piling Mat'


A piling mat is simple: its a level area about 2 meters wider than the plot so that the piling rig can strut its stuff. (I'll post the exact specification later)

So in our case that's about 14 meters by 14 meters. That needs to be costed.


Here goes: area affected -  (10 by 10 plus two meters each side for wriggle room , that makes 14 by 14), say 200 sq m, lets keep it easy for those of us who only just passed maths O Level.

The SI report makes it clear that we have at least 2m of made ground everywhere.


What's the spec for a Piling Mat? Well, if you pay £45:00 you can find out.  BRE (2004) Working Platforms for Tracked Plant: good practice guide to the design, (etc.)


For costing purposes we can have a look at SPONS now (page 163)  '...excavate to form piling mat; supply and lay imported hardcore – recycled brick and similar to form piling mat...'

Spon's Architect's and Builders' Price Book 2016. CRC Press


Assuming the site needs to be dug over to a depth of 1 m and then compacted, I need a price for 200m cubed . That translates to a price of £1600 to £2000.


First quote £11,000. Yeah, right.


The piling itself: The SE will tell the piling company what they need to support, and the SE needs the Soil Investigation and the Topographical survey


To Be Continued


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You have your own digger so that's  digging it out sorted. Have you somewhere where you can put all the spoil or does it need took away.

After that any roads etc getting dug up near you as that's the best stuff to use. Most companies pay to tip it so if you had a hole that needed filled then your on a winner. If not then buy in the stone, just a bullet you will have to bite. Hire a sit on roller for a day for the top compaction. The rest you will give it a squeeze when you track over it. should save you a few quid. Roughly 200 m3 is 400 tonne so it's not that much. 20 lorry loads. I think i put 12 loads of hardcore in my founds. 

Edited by Declan52
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So you need piling because you have made ground.


The piling rig can't operate on made ground. So you have to dig it all out and replace with compacted hardcore. (a piling mat)


Now you have compacted hardcore do you need piling any more?  This sounds like you have just laid the base for a passive slab?

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Oh a little learning is a dangerous thing. Sounds like a few phone calls are need today. Thanks for the nudge Dave.


The guidance in Working Platforms for Tracked Plant: good practice guide to the design, is clear  . I need to get a Competent Person to design the piling mat.


The question remains, however, to what extent is a piling mat similar to the base of a passive slab? 

I need to know exactly what a passive slab is.

Glad it's raining today..... don't feel guilty about desk-based research

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Why would you need to get a competent person to design the piling mat, surely that should be done by the piling company, after all it's their kit, their work method, their risk assessment and their risk? By all means point out the requirment and ask them how they intend to address good practice.

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