RAFT PILE SYSTEM
INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR SOFT SOIL PROBLEM
DEPARTMENT OF IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE MALAYSIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT DIVISION
LEVEL 3, BLOK C7, GOVERNMENT COMPLEX PARCEL C
62000 W.P. PUTRAJAYA
Table Of Content
01 PREFACE 1 07 INISNTSATALLALATTIOIONN 11
02 PROJECT TEAM 2 TYPICAL SITE 12
03 INTRODUCTION 3 09 PILOT PROJECT 13
04 ERP SYSTEM 8 10 TECHNICAL 15
05 COMPONENT OF 9 11 STANDARD BILL OF 18
ERP SYSTEM QUANTITY
06 TYPICAL 12 DISCLAIMER 19
ARRANGEMENT OF 10
Eco-friendly Raft Pile System or ERP System was jointly developed by DID Selangor and the Coastal Section
of DID Malaysia in 2010. The initial goal was to develop an easy-to-use and practical product as an alternative
to bakau piles for construction in soft soil areas. In subsequent years, the ERP System was upgraded to
include new features such as the ERP plugs, ERP improved connectors, stronger recycled material for pile
and raft, and also EZ-ERP templates to install the ERP System more efficiently. To enhance the product
delivery, computerized calculations using Microsoft Excel have been developed to produce the design and
costing of the ERP System. This effort resulted in an integrated system which allows the designer to produce
better design and estimation in shorter time with lower risks of human error.
After being introduced in several DID projects in various soft ground conditions, this product was proven to be
effective and time saving. To confirm the actual performance of the ERP System, several geotechnical tests
have been conducted to assess its suitability for soft ground condition. Results show that the ERP System
improves the foundation and performs better compared to other conventional alternatives in soft ground
The ERP System provide the right way in utilizing recycled material, eliminating mangrove deforestation,
conserving our precious ecosystem environment and at the same time providing us with useful products. It is
our hope that the ERP System will contribute positively towards efficient, sustainable and greener engineering
solutions to the country.
“Building With Nature - Let’s Leave The Mangroves
For More Beneficial Use!”
INTERTIDAL ZONE TEAM,
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT DIVISION,
DEPARTMENT OF IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE (DID),
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 3 OF 20
Ir. Arman bin Mokhtar
Ir. Ahmad Fazili bin Ir. Mahran bin Md. Azhar bin Noordin
Abdul Hamid Mahamud
Mohamad Yassin bin Ahmad Norfaizal bin
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Many soft ground areas are subjected to foundation problems. Based upon structural loading and local
knowledge, a pile system is generally selected to address these problems. In most cases, bakau pile which
is produced from mangrove trunks is commonly used as a cheaper and convenient alternative to other types
of piles for improving the foundation of a soft soil area. However, the excessive usage of bakau piles has often
lead to indiscriminate deforestation of mangroves along the coastline which subsequently contributes toward
coastal erosion and other environmental problems. To overcome this problem, a system called the
Eco-friendly Raft Pile System (ERP System) was developed by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage
(DID) to provide an alternative to bakau piles/ piling works in soft ground area.
Example of problems related to
soft ground condition
Conventional method for piling works for construction in soft soil areas are as below :-
Bakau Piles Advantages Concrete Piles Advantages
1) Low cost; 1) Strong and durable;
2) Durable material if applied 2) Quality guaranteed.
in fresh water. Disadvantages
Disadvantages 1) Expensive;
1) Supply shortage; 2) Heavy and difficult to
2) Quality issues;
3) Environmental issues; operate on site;
4) Decomposes if not 3) Requires a special
immersed in water. machinery.
Sheet Piles Advantages Micro Piles Advantages
1) Strong and durable; 1) Strong and durable;
2) Quality guaranteed. 2) Quality guaranteed.
1) Expensive; 1) Expensive;
2) Difficult to operate on site; 2) Heavy and difficult to
3) Requires a special
operate on site;
machinery. 3) Requires a special
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Mangrove Forest As An Natural Resources,
Buffer Zone And Shoreline Protection
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 6 OF 20
Implications Of Using Bakau Piles
The example of implications using bakau piles in typical DID project such as a U-drain in soft soil (100m x 5m)
is as described below :-
Total piles under construction : 9 mangrove pile2s/m (Source: DID Malaysia).
A project of 100m x 5m : 500m2 x 9 trunks = 4500 mangrove trunks.
Average distance between mangrove trees : 3.0 meters c/c (Source: Department Of Forestry, Malaysia).
Estimated usage of mangroves per ha : 10,000/3.0 = 3300 mangroves trunks/ha.
How much mangrove forest : 4500/3300 = 1.4 acres !
needs to be harvested?
To build a structure in an area 500m2, we need to clearfelling
mangroves with an area of 1.4 ha. !
Due to low price, bakau piles are still being used in the
construction sector in soft soil areas !
What happen if bakau pile still used in the construction
Suppy and demand Conservation of natural
buffer zone in coastal
issues for construction
industry areas implemented by the
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 7 OF 20
ALTERNATIVE TO BAKAU PILE
What Is ERP System
1) ERP System is the trade name of a unique foundation improvement system designed as an alternative to
bakau piles and having comparatively similar function for foundation system purpose.
2) ERP System consist of two main elements i.e. the pile and the raft.
3) ERP System is designed as an integrated system of pipes installed in grid series to withstand the loads,
enhance stability, bearing capacity and foundation capability in soft ground condition.
Components Of ERP System
“ERP System” is the trade name of a unique foundation-improvement system designed as an alternative to
bakau piles and having comparatively similar functions for foundation system purposes. The ERP System
comprises of several components as follows:-
Pile Element (3m) ERP Connector Fasteners
Raft Element (1m) ERP Plug ERP Shoe
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Typical Arrangement Of ERP System
The ERP System consists of 2 main elements i.e. the raft and the piles. The main elements are made from
a special mix of recycled polymer and waste material. The ERP System is designed as an integrated system
of pipes installed in grid series to withstand the loads, enhance stability, bearing capacity and foundation
capability in soft ground condition. Typical arrangement of the ERP System is shown below:-
SECTIONAL VIEW PLAN VIEW
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The installation diagrams for the ERP System (step by step) using the EZ-ERP method is shown below:-
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 11 OF 20
Typical Site Installation (3-Easy Steps)
Installation Of ERP Pile
Complete With ERP Plugs
Installation Of ERP Rafts
And ERP Connectors
Complete Installation Of
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 12 OF 20
1) PROJEK CHECK DAM @ REVOLUSI HIJAU KG. JOHAN SETIA
ALTERNATIVE TO BAKAU PILING AS A FOUNDATION (CHECK DAM)
2) PROJEK PENAHAN TEBING (GABION) @ SG BERTEK
ALTERNATIVE TO BAKAU PILING AS A FOUNDATION (GABION WALL)
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 13 OF 20
3) PROJEK MENSTABILKAN TEBING @ PINTU AIR BUKIT KUDA
ALTERNATIVE TO BAKAU PILING AS A FOUNDATION (GEOBAG)
4) PROJEK MENSTABILKAN TEBING DI YATCH CLUB, KLANG
ALTERNATIVE TO BAKAU PILING AS A FOUNDATION (REVETMENT)
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 14 OF 20
ECO-FRIENDLY RAFT PILE FOUNDATION SYSTEM
All rafts and piles shall be free from cracks and any other defects. The rafts and piles shall be reasonably
straight and circular in cross-section. The rafts and piles shall be stored in a cool, dry and sheltered area
until it is to be used.
Property Unit Test Value
Bending Strength: Modulus of rupture MPa 52.20
Bending Strength: Modulus of elasticity MPa 52.10
Internal Bond MPa 6.64
Thickness Swelling 0.13
Water Absorption % 0.58
Tensile Strength % 31.7
Moisture Content MPa 0.44
Density % 1513
Cyclic Test: Thickness Swelling kg/m3 -0.1
Cyclic Test: Internal Bond % 5.7
Acid Resistance MPa
2. Pitching and Driving of ERP Piles
Piles shall be pitched in the accurate positions and spacing as specified in the Contract Drawings. Piles
shall be driven using an excavator to the required depth or;
by means of other penetration methods, suspended from a shear-leg or approved pile-frame (with
approval of the S.O.).
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 15 OF 20
Piles shall be driven in a uniform sequence to minimise the detrimental effects of heave and lateral
displacement of the ground. The pile head shall be flat and at right angles to the axis of the pile, its edges
chamfered to minimise splitting during driving. The Contractor shall take precautions to avoid damage to
the pile head during driving by providing a suitable metal helmet.
A hardwood dolly and, if necessary, a packing piece shall be used above the helmet. If during driving the
head of the pile becomes excessively damaged, the damaged part shall be cut off, the head re-trimmed
and the helmet re-fitted.
3. Cutting and Preparing of Pile Heads
When the piles have been driven to the required depth, the top of the piles shall be cut off to a uniform
level. The cut-off level shall be above the low tide/ ground water level.
4. Installation of ERP Rafts
Rafts shall be installed in the accurate positions and spacing as specified in the Contract Drawings. The
raft and the piles shall be interlocking and tied together by fasteners. The arrangement of the ERP
system must be made to the satisfaction of the S.O. An example of the arrangement is shown in the
5. Test Piles
In order to determine the required length and suitability of the ERP pile at each location, the Contractor
shall drive test piles accordingly to the satisfaction of the S.O. Test piles shall be driven using an
excavator to the required depth.
6. Load Tests for ERP System
ERP System load tests shall be carried out by the Contractor appropriately. The testing of the ERP
system for the load tests at location on the site shall be determined by the S.O. The cost of all such tests
will be deemed included in the rates included in the Priced Bill of Quantities.
The ERP system shall be built up to the necessary elevation and shall be installed appropriately (1m
x1m grid) to produce a bearing surface perpendicular to the axis of the ERP piles. The arrangement shall
be such that none of the test load is carried by the ground under the system to the satisfaction of the
Measurement of Settlement
Vertical movements of the ERP system shall be measured by at least three (3) dial gauges, with
preferably a 50mm travel. The gauges shall be erected on stiff steel beams, the ends of which shall rest
on or be fixed to unyielding supports. Such supports shall be located not closer than 1.8m from the
nearest ERP test pile and shall be rigidly fixed to the ground to a depth of not less than 900mm of
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 16 OF 20
The entire measuring assembly shall be properly protected against rain, direct sunlight and other
disturbances that might affect its reliability. Temperature readings shall be taken when requested by the
Equipment and Personnel for the Load Test
All staging, equipment, shelter, supports etc. required for the load test shall be provided by the Contractor,
who shall also provide all necessary facilities to enable the S.O. or his representative to check all readings
during the progress of the test.
The S.O. shall supervise and direct the whole process of the test and the Contractor shall provide skilled
staff to assist in taking and recording all readings.
The Contractor shall provide all other labour required for the proper execution of the test, including the
construction and dismantling of the load staging and handling of the materials on and off the load stage, etc.
and for the continuous and competent watching the whole setup, all to the full satisfaction of the S.O.
Method of Testing
The ERP system shall be tested to failure by the Maintained Load Test or as directed by the S.O. The load
on the ERP system shall be applied in 6 to 8 equal increments until failure load is reached. Failure load (i.e.
ultimate load) is that load at which the piles continue to settle at a constant rate with further increase of load.
For each increment of load, the settlement readings shall be recorded at various time intervals until the rate
of the settlement is less than 0.01 inch per hour. The load at each increment should be maintained at a
constant value throughout the test. (Note: for a group of 4 ERP piles, the increment of load is generally
about 4 tons).
The process of applying the next increment of load and taking the settlement readings against various time
intervals is repeated until the ultimate load for the ERP piles group is reached. The test load shall then be
Graphs of time-settlement, load-time and load-settlement, to suitable scales, shall be plotted and submitted
to the S.O. with all records of the readings.
Interpretation of Test Results
The S.O.’s interpretation and conclusions on the test results shall be final. When the ERP pile tests have
been carried out as described above, unless otherwise specified, the pile so tested shall be deemed to have
a) The residual settlement after removal of the test load exceeds 0.25 inch (6.5mm) of the test load, or
b) The total settlement exceed 0.50 inch (12.50mm) under the design load, or
c) The total settlement under twice the design load exceeds 1.50 inches (38.0mm) or 10% of pile
diameter/width whichever is the lower value.
The test results shall be submitted to the S.O. to show that the ERP piles are at the intended workability.
7. Non Compliance of Test Result
Should the test results not comply with the specification, the S.O. may order that the ERP pile spacing to be
revised by a suitable interval.
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 17 OF 20
Standard Bill Of Quantity
BILL No. 1 - ECO-RAFT PILE FOUNDATION SYSTEM
Item Description Unit Quantity Rate Amount
1.0 Supply, handle, transport, pitch, drive and install nos
the Eco-Raft Pile System or approved equivalent nos
using approved method to obtain an integral
interlocking raft-pile foundation system as
speci ed in the Drawings or as directed by the
i) 3m pipe (pile elements)
ii) 1m pipe (raft elements)
2.0 Supply and install ERP plugs for Eco-Raft Pile nos
System as speci ed in the Drawings or as nos
directed by the S.O. no.
3.0 Supply and install ERP connectors for Eco-Raft m2
Pile System as speci ed in the Drawings or as
directed by the S.O.
4.0 Supply Installation Templates for Eco-Raft Pile
System as speci ed in the Drawings or as
directed by the S.O.
5.0 Supply and install ERP fasteners for Eco-Raft
Pile System as speci ed in the Drawings or as
directed by the S.O.
6.0 Supply and lay sawn formwork for concrete
base slab as speci ed in the Drawings.
7.0 Supply and lay welded steel fabric reinforcement m2 -
(BRC A8) for concrete base slab as speci ed in
8.0 Supply, lay and cast foam concrete for concrete m3
base slab as speci ed in the Drawings.
Page Total carried to Part Summary :
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All data and test results presented have been obtained by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage
Malaysia (DID) and the author/s from sources believed to be reliable. However, neither the DID nor the
author/s guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information published herein and neither the DID
nor its author/s shall be responsible for any errors, omissions, or damages arising out of use or derivation
of the ERP System product. Hence, the user must be aware of his/her responsibility when he/she uses
the ERP System for any design purposes.
Unlimited free technical support is provided by e-mail. A professional helpdesk is available through
Coastal Zone Management Division, DID Malaysia. For more information and suggestions on our
products and users services, please contact:-
Coastal Zone Management Division
Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia,
Level 3, Block C7, Government Complex Parcel C,
Tel: 03-88935279 Fax: 03-88935507
* This ERP System is protected under Intellectual Property (IP) right and any violation is subjected to
government law. This user manual may not be copied in whole part or in part, without any written
permission from Director General of Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia (DID).
ERP SYSTEM BOOK REPORT | PAGE 19 OF 20
“Building With Nature -
Let’s Leave The Mangroves For
More Beneficial Use!”