Vibro Stone Columns

Vibro stone columns are a quick and cost-effective alternative to traditional piling or deep trench-fill when building on large areas of weak ground or brownfield sites. Stone columns are a displacement technique and therefore do not produce spoil and tend to be shorter than piles.

Benefits to the process:

  • Improved bearing capacity
  • Reduction in total & differential settlement
  • Significant savings over piling
  • Bearing capacities of up to 200kN/m2 achievable
  • Displacement system – no spoil
  • Modern fleet of vibro rigs – fully instrumented and with tier four final engines
  • Fast process – suitable for any size site requiring ground improvement
  • Improved ground allows the use of shallow foundations for further cost savings
  • Fully validated by load testing

Applications of the process:

  • Ground improvement for housing, large industrial units and warehouses
  • Enabling construction of embankments over weak ground for highway and rail projects


Van Elle employs two types of method for this technique utilising the rigs we have customised and engineered to deliver an effective solution. These methods are:

Top Feed

Typically used where an open bore can be formed by the vibroflot which remains stable and can be filled with stone aggregate from working platform level. See illustration below:

Bottom Feed

Used when an open bore becomes unstable due to the presence of very soft soils or with a high water table. In this case, stone aggregate is fed into the column through a tube attached to the vibroflot which supports the bore as the flot remains within the ground while constructing the stone column. See illustration below: