For too long now the procurement of piling has involved engineers laboriously inputting piling data into schedules with a wide variety of formats, usually followed by piling tenderers re-typing the same data and all possibly incorporating a few human errors along the way.
This same data then had to be tweaked and adjusted each time the designer issued new information. At contract stage, it often fell to the engineer to rigorously check the successful tenderer's piling schedule against its own design details.
This is an inefficient way of working and with increasingly tight tender periods wasted time that could be better spent on honing the design solution and improving the quality of the end product.
Furthermore, it is sometimes the case that unnecessary human errors remain unspotted and as a result deficient piles are incorporated into the permanent works.
Differing formats of information, particularly pile loading, has led to misunderstandings on numerous occasions between engineer and piling contractor.
It is against this background that the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) has developed a standardised pile schedule in Excel format, which it hopes will be used by the engineer as a simple way of conveying pile design information to the piling contractor.
This includes pile diameter, cut-off level and applied loadings. The key features of the pile schedule include:
- Standardised terminology showing all of the information required to prepare construc- tion schedules. Colour coding denotes responsibility for com pleting data cells.
- It allows new revisions to be prepared either from scratch or by copying previous revisions.
- It allows each revision to be saved with a unique file reference.
- A standard format that can be emailed to reduce delays in retyping schedules.
- It allows basic or advanced loadings to be specified.
With the information provided electronically, the piling contractor can supply the client, designer and follow-on contractors with as-built information in a standard format, which can be used by all parties and act as a key document in the Piling Completion Report.
In addition, the pile schedule is designed to be compatible with new data handling systems such as Data Interchange for Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Specialists.
The success of the new pile schedule, which can be downloaded for free without prior registration from www.fps.org.uk, will be reliant on the numbers of practitioners who use it regularly.
Therefore the FPS is very keen to receive feedback from users so that any potential improvements can be implemented as early as possible.