Timber Piling

Timber is traditionally used for the construction of a wide variety of engineering structures in coastal and river environments. These include groynes to retain and control beaches, revetments and bank protection as well as piers, jetties, lock gates, navigation structures and river bank protection.

Timber may have a lower capital cost, but higher maintenance costs so comparisons with other materials have to be made on a whole life basis, durability is often the key factor in this consideration. It is, however, an alternative to steel. Though less popular today, timber still offers advantages of sustainability, cost and appearance and can be seen as environmentally responsible when from a renewable source, but it does need different design and construction techniques from that of steel.

Timber has a high strength to weight ratio, good workability and ease of modification, repair or re-use, high tolerance of impact and short duration loads, good resistance to abrasion and is attractive in appearance.

Timber does have some drawbacks, as there may be inherent flaws and variability in properties associated with natural products, limited availability of large sizes or quantities needed. Some timber native to the UK is only modestly resistant to the marine environment and susceptible to biological hazards and the renewable sources may be over relatively long periods.

Timber Groynes do have a limited life expectancy, which on sandy beaches is 20/25 years, but this is reduced to 6 years on a shingle beach. They are designed to smooth out drift fluctuations and are mostly perpendicular to the shore. Groynes ideally extend across the intertidal zone and can occur individually or in systems and are of variable design. They are designed to alter the orientation of the beach by changing the beach plan shape and should lead to smooth transition between protected and natural lengths of coast. Higher structures are more efficient on sandy beaches. Their disadvantages are local rip currents and instability of structures as they are ineffective when undermined.

For more information on Timber Piling please contact us


Timber Piling works at CleveleysSPI doing Timber Piling works at Cleveleys

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