Vibro Stone Columns

Vibro Stone Columns are one of the most commonly specified ground improvement methods in the UK.

Given the correct soil conditions they can provide a relatively inexpensive and quick method of ground improvement. They can be used to provide an increase in bearing capacity and to improve settlement characteristics. In certain instances, they can also be used as an alternative to more expensive piled foundations for lightweight structures.

Most commonly GDL offers stone columns in conjunction with structural earthworks utilising soil modification.

Our approach is to improve underlying compressible or voided soils which extend to a greater depth than could economically be achieved through over excavation and replacement with structural material.

The process

Vibro Stone Columns are constructed using a vibrating mandrel which is used to penetrate the ground to a designed depth. This creates a void which is filled with inert granular material in stages whilst compaction continues. The result is an interaction between the stone column and the surrounding soils. Together the stone columns and the confining soils provide a composite ground improvement with enhanced bearing capacity and improved settlement characteristics.

The layout of the vibro stone columns are arranged to suit the specific application. Columns are positioned under load lines of foundations or on a grid pattern under floors and at the base of engineered upfill.

Technical data

  • Columns diameter: 600mm
  • Columns depth: up to 8m depending on soil consistency


  • Offers an economical alternative to piling and other deep foundation techniques
  • Can meet a wide variety of need without compromising on quality
  • Speed of execution allows subsequent structural works to follow very quickly
  • Enables standard shallow foundations which can lead to savings
  • Environmentally-friendly as recycled materials can be used and no spoil produced


  • Foundation solution for lightweight structures
  • Industrial Warehouses
  • Retaining Walls
  • Reducing pore water pressure in cohesive soils

Click To View A Foundation Solution Cost Comparison Case Study

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