- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 28 Sep 2020
Vibro-compaction for ground improvement
Vibro-compaction is a ground improvement technique that can be used to transfer structural loads to suitable levels in poor ground conditions. The effect of vibration consolidates and strengthens the ground, helping to compact non-cohesive soils such as sand that would otherwise be unsuitable for construction. Since cohesive soils don’t respond to vibration, this process is not suitable for those ground conditions.
It can be a cost-effective alternative to piled foundations and grouting and can be used for structures such as buildings, embankments, dams, tanks, towers and so on. However, the site must be large enough to accommodate and justify the plant that is required. By consolidating loose sands before construction of raft foundations, this method may be more economical than piling.
Another similar method is vibro-replacement.
Vibro-compaction works by using a vibrator suspended from a crane to penetrate to the design depth. Water jetting is often used to aid penetration. The energy of the vibrations reduces the forces acting between the soil particles which allows them to become denser.
Once the depth has been achieved, the water pressure (if jets are used) is reduced and sand infill poured in from ground level around the vibrator, compacting at the base. As more infill is added and compacted the vibrator is gradually removed until the infill has been built up to ground level.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Driven piles.
- Geothermal pile foundations.
- Ground improvement techniques.
- Grouting in civil engineering.
- Pile foundations.
- Retaining walls.
- Screw piles.
- Soil compaction.
- Types of roller.
 External references
Featured articles and news
CIOB, NFCC, RIBA, RICS call for changes ahead of Building Safety Bill.
Developments in the Future Homes Standard.
An American chimney feature with a colourful past.
Homes based on need, not ability to pay.
Historic England adds 216 entries to the 'at risk' register.
Will cycling and walking provisions be preserved?
Assembly point levels range from relative to ultimate.
Signs are pointing to a recovery for the construction industry.
Campaigning to change perceptions about American Brutalism.
Sprinkler head configurations can prioritise people or property.
Report from The Carbon Project reveals shortcomings and recommendations.
Advice on how to join the electrotechnical profession.
BREEAM Building Back Better briefing paper provides initial guidance.