Modern buildings, bridges and structures generally, indicate a tendency to much more
massive construction than formerly; buildings, especially those erected in the restricted spaces available in large cities, are built higher; bridges are being designed with large spans and widths to keep pace with river improvements and road developments; new docks are more extensive and deeper; all entail heavy loads being imposed on the supporting ground. Consequently, ground conditions have to be very carefully considered by the engineer before deciding what form the foundations of any new structure should take, and his decision will be governed to some extent by the form of foundations and the condition of existing properties near the site, as these
need to be safeguarded, while the new foundation work proceeds. The use of piling in
some form or other can very materially assist the engineer to overcome foundation difficulties, and in dealing with the subject it is proposed to outline modern piling practice, with only brief reference to relevant historical matter.