Concrete Pile
Foundations and Cost

The use of piles to construct stable foundations dates back thousands of years. In ancient times, piles were made of timber, and building foundations consisted of rows of these timber stakes driven into the ground. As time has progressed, so has the materials used for construction. These days, piles are generally made with a strong material, usually cement. They are long cylinders that are pushed deep into the ground to provide stability for structures built on top of it.

Pile foundations have found themselves a staple of the construction industry because of their time saving nature. As the concrete has been cured before they are placed, they save the delays usually caused by otherwise waiting for concrete to cure before construction can continue. It should be noted that the opposite is true for bored piling, in which piles are installed by augaing into the ground to form a hole. Concrete is then poured into this hole and left to cure, casting the pile in that position.

Pile Foundations NZ
Concrete piles are incredibly strong due to being reinforced with steel or rebar within the concrete.They are commonly used in New Zealand because of how common expansive clay soil is in the country. In New Zealand, a typical 180-200 square meter home’s pile foundations cost (on a TC2 site) would be in the range of $10,000 to $15,000 dollars. The final price is dependent on what the engineer prescribes.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of concrete piles is the effect it has on the environment. The production of cement and concrete is one of the highest producers of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. It causes damage to the planet’s topsoil – the most fertile layer on the planet.

Thankfully, the new generation of foundations, known as RibRaft Xpod, are more convenient than traditional concrete piles, as well as using less cement and created using 80% recycled materials. It isn’t often that you are given an option that is environmentally conscious whilst also being more convenient. Ribraft Xpod is made from pods that are clipped together atop a steel foundation. They are light and easy to move, in fact a 180-200m2 foundation can be delivered on the back of a single axle trailer…something that is definitely not possible with traditional concrete piles. To install a RibRaft Xpod foundation, all this is required is a level building platform 330mm deeper than the final foundation. Unlike traditional concrete pile foundations, a RibRaft foundation sits on top of the soil, not underneath it. This removed the need to dig deep into the ground, as well as no longer needing concrete piles to be staked into the ground. This saves cost in regards to labour, as well as reducing how much concrete is required to be poured over the foundation. All this while still being seismically strong on expansive clay soils. And if it ever needs to be removed, the Ribraft foundation is 100% recyclable.

While the materials for the RibRaft systems may be more expensive than traditional concrete piles, there are huge savings to be made in labour. From transport, to equipment, to man hours, the efficiency in which these modern foundations can be laid result in a significantly smaller amount of time to complete them.

The new generation of foundations are hard to fault. Given time, we are sure that these systems for building foundations will be the bench mark of the industry. Their superior installation process, environmentally conscious design, efficient and stable implementation forecast an exciting future for foundations. This is why Build2 has taken the time to be experts in the new wave of foundation systems. As concrete foundation specialists we see all the amazing opportunities that are opened by the Ribraft and Xpod systems. If you are looking to lay a new foundation for a construction project, let our experience and knowledge guide you to future proof your project. Get in contact with the team at Build2 today!

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