Chronicles of the Design & Construction of Two Waterfront Hurricane Proof Dry Stack Modular Green Custom Homes
1. Villa Lagoon, Wilder Italian Style Home
2. Nasello Italian Style Home

Delivery and Installation of Pilings

It was really hard to get the truck in here. The pilings were only 22 ft long but the trailer bed was 52 ft. long PLUS the truck had a sleeper cab !! It took a zillion mini-turns to get this around the street turn-offs. One tree was clipped.

This heavily engineered house has beefed up foundation, pilings, piling caps, thick slab, etc...

Anil Badve was our structural engineer and he did the drawings for the base of the  house. Anil Badve ordered a soil test before we did anything. Soil testing revealed that we have very dense sand, an almost ideal sub-surface. We considered not using any pilings but after the recent storm surges along the Gulf Coast, we discussed w/ Anil what could happen. Planning for a Cat 4 hurricane, we looked for 12 in dia., 15 ft long pilings but were unable to find that size. We did find 10" dia. pilings and our engineer said we could use them but we'd have to go 20 ft. deep. We will still evacuate is a storm is headed our way, but we think we will have a home to come back to. We don't plan to insure it because we think that with our foundation system and the strength of the DAC-ART blocks, along with impact glass in all windows and doors, we have very little to worry about..

The survey people, Lucindoor and Oliver, came out and established where the corners of the house were going to be. They use a GPS system and they know the footprint of the house. They can rotate the house location to save as many trees as possible, best view and things like that. Once everyone is happy with the results, they stake all of the corners. Next they refer to the piling diagram, supplied by the structural engineer, and mark where each piling should be placed.

The piling installers are specialists. Getting the pilings in the ground is a multi-step process. They ran close to 600 ft of hose just like fire hose to a tanker truck. The tank is able to apply tremendous pressure to the water which comes out of a long metal pipe that two men hold vertically in the exact spot where the piling is to go. The piling is held above vertically by a tractor w/ special apparatus that holds the pole suspended above the hole it is to go into. The force of the pressurized water creates a starter hole into which the piling is placed. After that a pile-driver is used to pound the pole into the sand/ground. 

Photos by Jerry Nasello