A deep foundation is a type of foundation distinguished from shallow foundations by the depth they are embedded into the ground. There are many reasons a geotechnical engineer would recommend a deep foundation over a shallow foundation, but some of the common reasons are very large design loads, a poor soil at shallow depth, or site constraints (like property lines ). There are different terms used to describe different types of deep foundations including the pile(which is analogous to a pole ), the pier (which is analogous to a column ), drilled shafts, and caissons . Piles are generally driven into the ground in situ ; other deep foundations are typically put in place using excavation and drilling. The namingconventions may vary between engineering disciplines and firms. Deep foundations can be made out of timber , steel , reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete .
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