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Texas Pile, LLC. and GRL Engineers – Cost Savings Utilizing Driven Piles in Central Texas Expansive Soils

Presented by: Clayton Signor

In 2021, a project in San Marcos, TX was being designed.  The Geotech report had several foundation options, one for drilled piers and another for driven piles.  The design values for the driven piles were extremely low for the soil type (mostly stiff Fat Clay) and made the pile option not economically feasible.  Texas Pile was engaged by the owner to price out the piling based on the Geotech report.  The overall price for the pile option based on diameter and depth was not competitive compared to drilled piers.  Based on historical knowledge of the area, a preproduction load test program, PDA and SLT, was proposed to evaluate the capacity of 2 different pile sizes.  The results of the PDA and SLT exceeded the Geotech reported capacities and the design was optimized for smaller and shorter piles.  PDA testing was performed on 4% of the roughly 2000 production piles.  2 pile rigs were able to drive out the project in roughly 6 weeks.  The material and schedule impacts of the redesign attributed to savings in excess of $2+ million. 

All Authors:
Clayton Signor, Texas Pile, LLC
Brandon Phetteplace, GRL Engineers – Texas