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Six-storey apartment buildings, Otahuhu, Auckland, NZ

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Deep Pile Foundations using timber poles were designed for a new six-storey precast concrete apartment building complex in Otahuhu, Auckland.

Our solution

Uglie poles, 11.0m x 450mm SED, were Static Load Tested to 2,400 kN to prove the efficacy of the proposed foundation solution.

The Static Load Test took 8 hours per pole using a purpose-built test rig capable of 3,000 kN loads.

Pile Driver Analyzing (PDA) testing was also carried out to verify the Static Load Test results.

PDA results indicated half the load was achieved through skin friction from the Uglie poles.

MultiPole Uglie poles, 10.0m x 450mm SED, were identified as being able to satisfy the stringent foundation requirements.


Project challenges

The client required a more economical foundation solution to the expensive screw pile (installed to 25m depth) option they had been given.

The client had been quoted a time frame of 3 months for foundation installation but required a quicker option.

The foundations needed to be able to support the weight of six-storey precast concrete apartment buildings


The design had to achieve high design loads – both compression and tension.

The ground conditions were very soft silty clay.

The project had to be cost effective or it would not be economical to proceed.

H5 treated Radiata Pine timber piles were determined as the best solution to be installed down to the founding layer.

The MultiPole Uglies would be installed over a 3 week period.

The foundation solution offered by NZGC will cost approximately one-third of the original screw pile option.

The 35 tonne installation equipment requires a 150mm thick layer of gravel to be laid over the site to support access.

The MultiPole Uglie poles will be installed through the soft silty clay, then into the dense sand layer which is 1.0 to 2.0m thick.

Approximately 230 poles will be installed for this project.

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