Caisson drilling, aka foundation pier drilling or CIDH (cast-in drilled hole piles), is a type of foundation used for larger commercial buildings and high-rise structures. During the foundation drilling process, cylindrical holes (reinforced or not) are drilled evenly throughout the footprint of the future building and filled with concrete. Instead of traditional horizontally laid concrete foundations for homes that are prone to cracking and shifting as the soil settles, vertical pier drilling creates a more stable base capable of subtle movement without damaging the building above.
Looking for a caisson or pier drilling company in Houston, Katy, DFW, Austin, Corpus Christi, or San Antonio, Texas? Call Patriot Utility Services at (636) 208-0921 or email us to request a free quote for service.
Caisson Drilling Types
Click on the links in the list below to jump to the area with information about each type of pier drilling.
A box caisson is a prefabricated square casing or shell that has sides and a bottom. In construction they are placed into the ground after excavation and filled with concrete so the building process can continue.
Monolithic caissons as the name suggests are behemoth foundation anchors used in big projects as foundations for bridges and other very large structures requiring maximum stability and durability.
Pneumatic caissons are box shaped as well but made for the water. The bottom of a pneumatic caisson is hollow and the top is sealed. After placing them in water the hollow part of the caisson is filled with pressurized air, creating a vacuum like effect to suck out bedrock and dirt. Once they have served their purpose they are filled with concrete in a dry area.
Open caissons are prefabricated structures with four sides that are hollow on the bottom and constructed of steel piles. They are popular in areas with soft soil or clay and can be used alongside drilled pier foundations.
Caisson drilled piers are a type of excavated caisson that are popular for use in commercial building construction. Cylindrical holes are drilled in an even pattern throughout the future building’s footprint and then filled with concrete and/or steel caging for reinforcement.
Like drilled pier foundations, pile foundations are popular for large building foundations in areas where soil is unstable or where earthquakes are common. Unlike drilled caisson piers, pile foundations drive long steel cylinders to anchor the building’s foundation deep into the earth, allowing movement but minimizing damage to the structure or building above.
Drilled Pier vs. Drilled Shaft Foundation
Drilled pier foundations are synonymous with shaft foundations. As mentioned above, they are also known as caisson piers, CDIH, and foundation piers. Although there are many names for this type of foundation structure, they all involve a series of horizontal cylinders drilled into the ground to anchor the building deep into the earth, providing an incredibly sturdy and stable base for buildings.
Caisson & Pier Drilling Services
We provide many services related to pier drilling and underground construction including but not limited to:
- Duct bank construction and installation
- Utility plowing
- Utility locating
- Horizontal drilling
- Concrete Coring
- Drainage System Construction
- Land Clearing
- Land Grading
Drilled Pier Foundation Types
Just as pier foundations can be called by many names there are also several types of drilled caisson piers. These include straight-shaft-end-bearing piers for hard rock, straight-shaft side wall friction piers, belled piers, or a combination of straight-shaft side wall friction and end bearing piers. The type of drilled pier your foundation requires depends on several factors that can be determined after the land surveys, elevation, and thorough examination have been conducted by the construction managers and engineers.
Request a Quote for Drilled Piers in Texas
Contact Patriot Utility Services to request a quote for pier drilling service in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Katy, Austin or anywhere else in Texas today. We provide quality construction services without sacrificing safety, and we’re a bonded and insured contractor owned by a service-disabled US veteran. Thank you for supporting local businesses.