Piling Canada

It’s Not a Hammer

Giken America Corporation wants to standardize pile driving with its press-in piling methodology
March 2015

Giken America Corporation wants to standardize pile driving with its press-in piling methodology

The Giken America Corporation is a subsidiary of its parent company, Giken Ltd., with its headquarters located in Kochi, Japan. Giken was founded in 1978 from technology developed three years prior by the current president, Mr. Akio Kitamura, who collaborated with a local inventor known as the

“Thomas Edison” of the area. 

Giken’s press-in piling technology may have never been invented without the shutting down of a project in Kochi due to noise complaints led by a local sushi chef, which subsequently influenced Kitamura to develop this “outside the box” concept. With the contribution of over 300 employees globally, Giken’s minimal noise and vibration-free pile driving technology has developed into other various technologies over the company’s nearly 40-year history. The press-in piling market has also expanded recently throughout Asia, Europe and especially in North America and South America.

As North America’s leading provider in minimal noise and vibration-free pile driving equipment since 1999, the Giken America Corporation has provided technical advice developed from the press-in piling method. Structural foundations, retaining walls, levee repairs and erosion control are just some of the 100-plus projects that Giken America had undertaken in the U.S. alone as a subcontractor until 2010. Today, Giken America sells and leases Giken’s Silent Piler pile driving machines, which are compatible with most hot-rolled steel Z-shaped sheet piles and pipe piles alike. Giken’s newest innovation, the Gyro Piler, utilizes the Gyropress Method to rotate and press in pipe piles simultaneously, allowing penetration through nearly any structure, including reinforced concrete. In addition, the new Silent Piler F 401 Z-shaped sheet pile and pipe pile driving machine will be released as early as spring of 2015.

The enduring press-in principles
Giken has come a long way by developing many different construction methods since the invention of the world’s first “pollution-free” pile driving machine in 1975. Its unprecedented and unconventional pile driving press-in principles were created through scientific analysis and are regarded with more of a measurable and recordable approach in comparison with conventional piling methods. Percussion, vibratory or drilling methods do not have press-in stroke control and press-in force regulation like the press-in method does with the Silent Piler, which derives its source of reaction from already installed piles that are integrated with the earth by hydraulically clamping them to press in uninstalled piles by using a static load.

Scientific reasoning has always been the basis for Giken’s daily grind. This time around, Giken has once again exercised its scientific approach to focus on a new market of designing foundations involving sheet and pipe piles. Giken Implant Foundation designs focus on embedded piled retaining walls and foundations installed by the press-in method. From combi-walls to king pile foundations, Giken is looking to leave its mark by providing this among various solutions within the world of construction.

The five construction principles
Giken’s technologies are based on its five construction principles that advocate the public’s perception of successful construction and its elements that surround and affect residents and businesses.

These 5 principles are: 

  1. Environmental protection 
  2. Safety 
  3. Speed 
  4. Economy 
  5. Aesthetics


In many situations, the taxpayers’ dissatisfaction is not considered while tolerating factors such as noise and vibration pollution, a lower degree of safety and questionable distribution of tax funds, even though their hard- earned money is allocated toward such construction projects. These five principles mitigate such distress among the public. Each principle should be equally satisfied in order for a construction project to be rendered successful in the eyes of the community. While in most cases, conventional piling methods cannot satisfy these five principles equally, the press-in piling method can.

Giken America project case studies 

West Toronto Diamond 
Numerous projects with limited access, noise and/or vibration issues have been completed with the work of the Silent Piler. The following are a couple examples of such projects completed by Giken America before 2010.

Imagine yourself in 2009 living or working in the West Toronto Diamond area, just outside of Toronto’s Business District. As a resident or employer, you have to deal with constant railway traffic from the Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, VIA Rail and GO Transit commuter trains. Then you find out on top of that, plans to start a major project there will consist of additional noise from pile driving every weekday for the next four to five years. The noise condition, along with the concerns of settlement of a nearby historic building, were just two of the several public relations headaches for Go Transit, the owner of the West Toronto Diamond Rail Grade Separation project. The objective of the project was to create a rail grade separation which would allow GO Transit uninterrupted service with Canadian Pacific. The most feasible way to solve at least two of the issues was to implement the press-in piling method, which was provided by Giken America for a good portion of the project.

Wintersburg Channel 05
Residents south of the border in the state of California experienced an incident where a levee needed emergency repair back in 2008. The Giken Reaction Base (GRB) System was specified by Orange County to be used at the Wintersburg Channel 05 in the city of Huntington Beach. Piling was done on a 24-hour basis for the duration of a month to install a flood protection wall before the next storm had the chance to wipe out the levee and damage its surrounding homes.

The GRB System is primarily used for projects with limited access. The Silent Piler and its auxiliary equipment walks on top of already installed sheet (or pipe) piles. The supporting equipment includes the Power Pack, which provides hydraulic and electric power; Clamp Crane; and the Pile Runner, which transports sheet piles from a remote access point to the Clamp Crane. In turn, the Clamp Crane pitches the transported sheet piles to the Silent Piler. For this particular project, portions of the levee were too severely eroded to even allow support crane access.

Municipalities, government agencies and contractors in Giken America’s biggest market, the U.S., are becoming more and more acquainted with the press-in piling method. On the other hand, many Canadian government agencies, cities, provinces and the federal government itself are still fairly unaware of the potential and benefits that the press-in piling method has for Canada’s diverse landscape. Cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Quebec City, Saskatoon, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg are going through expansion and may eventually need press-in piling technology. Waterfront development is also important for industry and commerce transported through the Great Lakes as well as the eastern and western shores.

All in all, Giken America’s focal point of standardizing the pile driving industry with the press-in piling method extends outside of Canada and the U.S. It strives to standardize pile driving throughout the Americas.

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