Guide to Piling for a Home Rebuild in Singapore

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Date:
UPDATED dEC 8, 2023

Author:
MARKETING

TIME:
8 MIN READ

Piling is a must for home rebuilding in Singapore due to the island’s terrain, which mainly refers to the soft soil and sea proximity. Not all houses need piling, but if you do, here’s a guide to navigating the piling process for your home rebuild.

What is Piling?

Piling is the process of driving columns or piles into the ground to support the structure of buildings especially in areas with soft soil or high water table. For Singapore where land is scarce and often has clayey or sandy soil, piling is necessary to ensure stability and structural integrity.

Piling works ongoing at a construction site
Image: abv.com.sg – Piling works ongoing

There are a few main purposes of piling, which are:

  1. To support heavy structural loads by transferring them to deeper, more stable soil layers or bedrock.
  2. To prevent excessive settlement or uplift of the structure.
  3. To resist lateral loads, such as wind, earthquakes, or earth pressure.

Piling is commonly used in the construction of high-rise buildings, bridges, offshore structures, and in areas with weak or compressible soils.

Piling: The Step-by-step Process

Step 1: Initial Assessment

Get a site assessment done. Engage a qualified engineer or geotechnical consultant to assess soil condition, groundwater level and any environmental factors that may affect piling.

Step 2: Regulatory Compliance

Get familiar with Singapore’s building regulations and obtain necessary permits and approvals from BCA or relevant authorities before you start piling work. Compliance is key to avoid legal issues.

Step 3: Engage Professional Services

Engage a reputable piling contractor or construction company with experience in Singapore’s piling requirements. Ensure they have the necessary licenses, expertise and track record of successful projects.

Step 4: Soil Investigation

Get the soil investigation done first. Determine the most suitable piling method for your site. Common piling methods in Singapore are driven piles, bored piles and micro-piles each suited for specific soil conditions.

Step 5: Pile Design and Planning

Work closely with the engineering team to design the pile foundation system based on soil reports, structural requirements and building plans. This stage involves deciding on pile type, depth, diameter and spacing.

Step 6: Execution of Piling Works

Once the design is done, start the piling works under the supervision of qualified engineers. The process involves installing piles using specialized equipment such as hydraulic hammers for driven piles or drilling rigs for bored piles.

Boring machine driving piles into the ground at a construction site
Image: gie.com.sg – Piling works ongoing

Step 7: Quality Control and Testing

Monitor and check quality during piling installation to ensure design specifications are met. Non-destructive testing methods like sonic logging or integrity testing can verify pile integrity.

Step 8: Post-Piling Assessment

After piling works is done, reassess the site to confirm the foundation is intact. Any deviation from design or unexpected ground condition should be addressed immediately.

Step 9: Environmental Considerations

Be mindful of environmental impact during piling, noise and vibration. Take measures to minimize disturbance to neighboring properties and ecosystem.

Step 10: Documentation and Handover

Keep records of the piling process, soil reports, design plans, quality assurance reports and any compliance certificates. Once done, get the necessary clearances and documentation for handover.

Conclusion

Piling for home rebuilds in Singapore is a fairly complex process that demands meticulous planning, adherence to regulations, and collaboration with skilled professionals.

If necessary, it’ll usually be included as part of your contract to ensure a solid foundation for your rebuilt home (we sometimes will include this as part of our design and build contracts).

Hopefully, this guide has given you a brief overview of the piling process for a home rebuild in Singapore. If you aren’t sure if your landed property requires piling or are thinking of rebuilding – get in touch with us.