The Piling & Foundation Specialists Federation (PFSF) is a non profit industry association of specialist piling & foundation engineering contractors, engineers, equipment & material manufacturers suppliers, owners and academia. The common theme is the objective to improve standards of competency, commercial awareness, design, technical excellence, safety and workmanship throughout this highly specialised industry.
Foundation engineering is one of the more challenging and exciting branches of civil engineering. The behaviour of materials such as concrete, steel or timber is well understood, which means that structural engineers can design the above ground aspects of building and structures with confidence. Soil and rock however, the main materials that foundation and geotechnical engineers have to contend with, are much less predictable. As a result, foundation related issues are the greatest uncertainty in building and civil engineering projects.
The overall total ‘land based’ component of deep foundation engineering works undertaken by all specialist contractors in Australia is estimated to be of the order of A$1 billion per annum. This includes a considerable amount of ‘marine based’ piling work, especially during the recent infrastructure boom period, requiring extensive jetty & wharf construction. It is estimated that the contractor members of the Federation currently undertake approximately A$800 million of this work each year in Australia and the aim is to expand the membership to incorporate an even larger representation of the industry.
The PFSF was formed in December 2001 when representatives of several prominent companies met to discuss the formation of the Federation. Similar organisations had been established in North America, the United Kingdom and mainland Europe with great success – in fact the UK based federation was established as far back as 1963.
The inaugural meeting of the Federation was held in Sydney on June 17th 2002 at which 15 member companies were represented. These included companies based in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Today this number has been increased to over 40 members and the membership is anticipated to continue to increase as the work undertaken by the Federation becomes better known.
At that meeting the members were informed of the Registration of the Company and of the Constitution of the Federation which had been legally drawn up. The members agreed on a Mission Statement and a Code of Ethics. The Federation has a Board of Directors of up to 10 members who meet on a regular basis and are elected by the members. One of the Directors is elected as President for a period of up to 2 years maximum at an Annual General Meeting of members and in turn the Board appoints a Vice President from the remaining Directors.
In its early years the Federation was administered on a day to day basis by individual members providing their time freely. With the increased activity in the industry the Federation has moved to appoint an Executive Officer, experienced in the industry, working closely with senior members of the Federation,to administer the business of the Federation.
This web site has been developed to showcase the capabilities of members of the industry and to provide a forum for members to contribute to the future development of the industry.