Learn everything you need to know about caisson construction and how it can benefit your next project
Updated 31 Jan 2023, Published 2 Nov 2022
Caisson construction is a foundation used in deep water or soft soil. It involves a series of large, watertight cylinders that are sunk into the ground and filled with concrete. The base provides a stable foundation for structures built on top of it.
Bridges, docks, and large structures often use caisson construction. These types of foundations are relatively quick to build. It is, however, essential to ensure the caissons are correctly sealed, as any water leakage can cause significant problems. In addition, caisson construction is typically more cost-effective than other types of foundations.
Here are the distinct benefits of a caisson in constructing buildings.
Caisson drilling is an ideal solution if you need to build on unstable ground or very soft soil. This method can create a foundation at any depth, giving you the flexibility to make it just about anywhere.
Caissons are not only cheaper to install than a massive concrete pad foundation, but also you may be able to skip pile caps since the caissons are already concrete-filled. This cost-effective option can save you tons of money on large construction projects.
Any worksite can use this construction method. Whether you’re building a high rise in the city or some other large structure in a remote location, caissons will be easy to place.
Caisson pillars create a stronger foundation because the weight is distributed evenly across the grid. It helps to bear both axial and lateral loads more efficiently.
There are several types of caisson foundations, each designed for different conditions.
Here are the steps involved in caisson construction:
Eliminate manual tasks and streamline your operations.
A caisson foundation has many distinct advantages. The following list contains the primary benefits of using a caisson foundation:
Although a caisson foundation sounds excellent in theory, there are many more disadvantages to using this type of foundation than traditional foundations. Listed below are the primary cons of a caisson foundation:
Caissons are sturdy, watertight structures made of wood, steel, or reinforced concrete. They are built above ground level and then sunk into the ground. A pile foundation is a deep foundation that uses vertical timber, concrete, or steel to support loads at a low level. Finally, a pier foundation is a deep foundation that uses large cylindrical columns to support oversized loads and transfer them to stable strata below.
Caisson foundations can be as deep as necessary to reach a solid load-bearing stratum. Caisson depth depends on the depth of the water, the type of stratum, and the load to be supported. Most open caissons go as deep as 50 meters, while pneumatic caissons go as deep as 100 meters and are open at the bottom.
Building caissons is not a project you want to tackle yourself—you’ll need to bring in a qualified, experienced contractor. In addition, you’ll need the help of a competent engineer to design the system and inspect the work once it’s finished. The city’s building inspector will also take a look at the completed project.
Caissons are structures built above ground level and then sunk into the earth to support a structure. Usually, they are prefabricated and assembled before being transported. When fabrication and sinking happen simultaneously, it is referred to as well foundation.
Caisson foundations are delicate structures that require a lot of expertise and knowledge to construct correctly. With few experts available and even fewer inspectors qualified to check the work, it's essential to have a system in place to ensure safety and compliance.
SafetyCulture (formerly iAuditor) is a multi-platform app inspection platform trusted by many organizations worldwide. With SafetyCulture, you can do the following:
All of these can help improve safety and compliance on caisson construction projects.
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He is a content writer who also does copy for websites, sales pages, and landing pages. Rob worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade before joining SafetyCulture. He got interested in writing because of the influence of his friends; aside from writing, he has an interest in personal finance, dogs, and collecting Allen Iverson cards.
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