Pile, pier and caisson foundations are three different types of deep foundation used in construction. To choose between these three types of deep foundations a foundation engineer must know the differences between them. The main differences between pier, pile & caisson foundation are given below.
|Pier Foundation||Caisson||Pile Foundation|
|Pier foundation is a type of deep foundation, which consists of a cylindrical column of large diameter to support and transfer large superimposed loads to firm strata below.||Caissons are watertight structures made up of wood, steel or reinforced concrete built above the ground level and then sunken into the ground.||Pile foundation is a type of deep foundation, in which the loads are taken to a low level by means of vertical timber, concrete or steel.|
|The types of pier foundations are masonry or concrete piers and drilled caissons.||The types of caissons are box, open, pneumatic, monolithic, floating, excavated etc.||The types of pile foundation are end-bearing piles, friction piles, compaction piles, anchor piles, tension or uplift piles, sheet and batter piles etc.|
|Pier is inserted down to the bedrock.||Caisson is putting a box into underwater and pouring it with concrete.||Pile is a column of material driven by a piledriver.|
|Pier has a footing.||Caisson doesn’t have a footing.||Pile doesn’t have a footing.|
|Pier is typically dug out and cast in place using forms.||Caissons are driven into surface condition.||Piles are driven into surface condition.|