Caisson Construction

In our pursuit of excellence in caisson construction, we prioritize advanced methodologies to create and construct caissons, ensuring structural integrity from the foundation up. This focus on innovation extends to the efficient movement of caissons between construction phases, using our state-of-the-art skidding transfer system. Our approach not only emphasizes the precision of caisson construction processes but also integrates seamless launching and moving, underscoring our comprehensive expertise in delivering complete caisson solutions.

Caisson Launching and Construction methods

If you are undertaking a construction project that is taking place on, or in, water, you will likely need a caisson construction. A caisson is a watertight structure that is used as an anchor for a foundation. It is also commonly known as a caisson foundation.

Caissons are prefabricated objects or hollow boxes generally made of concrete. The material used will rely heavily on the function of the caisson and how it’s being constructed. Caissons are often used in the construction of bridge piers, concrete dams, and other structures that require a foundation beneath the water surface. For example, bridge towers or floating wind turbines to be mounted on a caisson. In the case of floating concrete construction, we have invented a slipform method called the Mega Gantry Slipform which provides stronger gantry structures than normal and more efficient reinforcements.

A caisson is a critical component of many construction projects because it provides stability to the structure. In cases where the ground can shift under the heavy weight of a new structure, a caisson can be used to distribute the weight of the load evenly. The concrete essentially provides an even foundation and it becomes an integral part of the permanent structure.

A caisson can be required in various conditions, including when:

  • a foundation is subjected to a massive lateral load
  • the soil contains large boulders
  • the depth of the water level is high
  • the groundwater has an aggressive inflow

Caisson foundation construction can be done using several types of foundations. Some common types of foundations include box, open, excavated, sheeted, pneumatic, and floating caissons. It’s worth noting that caissons are easily adaptable to various site conditions.

A production yard mockup based off of Bygging Uddemans work process
Bygging Uddemans process of launching a caisson

Caisson Construction Process

The entire construction process involves pre-construction, construction, and post-construction procedures.

Caissons can either be produced on land (via gantry slipforming, mega gantry slipforming or traditional slipforming) and launched out into the water (with skidding technology), or manufactured on a dry dock (with gantry slipform technology) and lowered directly into the water.

The installation of caisson foundation constructions

While caissons are somewhat similar to pile foundations, their installation is different. There are several ways in which a caisson foundation construction can be installed. For example, some caissons are built and installed on-site, but others are built off-site and then moved to their installation site. When a caisson construction is built off-site, it’s generally floated to the installation site.

The placement and type of the caisson foundation will determine the installation process. In some cases, the placement location will need preparation. For example, a cofferdam is sometimes used to clear an area before a caisson can be implemented.

Once the caisson foundation has been lowered to the seabed, filling material is poured into the caisson and the tops are sealed.

Caisson Construction and Launching Projects

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What is a caisson foundation?

A caisson foundation is a watertight structure used as a foundation for constructions in or on water, such as bridges and dams. It is essentially a prefabricated hollow box or cylinder made of concrete, designed to provide stability and distribute the load evenly, especially in conditions where the soil may shift under heavy weight. Caissons are versatile and can be adapted to various site conditions, making them suitable for situations where the foundation is subjected to massive lateral loads, the soil contains large boulders, the water level is high, or there’s aggressive inflow of groundwater. This type of foundation can be constructed using different methods, including box, open, excavated, sheeted, pneumatic, and floating caissons, depending on the project requirements.

Are caissons still used?

The short answer is yes, and in fact caissons are used more than ever. However, the technology has a long history, the Roman Empire used a type of caisson technique in construction of several ports. The reason was that they needed both effective and large-scale solutions to be able to handle its large fleet. Today, the need for efficient and large-scale solutions is even greater. Therefore, the method is more popular than ever. Of course, the technology has developed a lot in terms of materials and working methods, but the reason why the technology is used is the same.

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