Project Description


Vertical Drains & Vacuum Consolidation

An economical way to accelerate consolidation in saturated soils is to create vertical pathways by the introduction of vertical drains, on a tight grid.

As the load is applied, the resulting increased pore pressure is permitted to dissipate via the vertical drains to the surface. Where surcharging by applying load is not economically viable, vacuum consolidation can be adopted, whereby a reduction in atmospheric pressure (vacuum) at the head of the vertical drain, creates an upward flow of water from the soils.

Vertical Drains Vacuum Consolidation


  • Enhanced bearing capacity
  • Accelerated settlements
  • Particularly suitable to non-organic, non-homogeneous fill, made ground, and reclamation areas with variable characteristics

  • Ground bearing foundations can be adopted following treatment

  • High coverage making it economical for large areas


  • Commercial/industrial foundations and floor slabs with high tolerances
  • Infrastructure schemes including embankments, water treatment plants and windfarms
  • Reclaimed land, raised sites or backfilled pits/quarries

Vertical Drains Vacuum Consolidation

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