The precess of the design of a drilled pier generally involves the following:

1. The objectives of selecting drilled pier foundations for the project.
2. Analysis of loads coming on each pier foundation element.
3. A detailed soil investigation and determining the soil parameters for the design.
4. Preparation of plans and specifications which include the methods of design, tolerable settlement, methods of construction of piers, etc.
5. The method of execution of the project.

In general the design of a drilled pier may be studied under the following headings.

1. Allowable loads on the piers based on ultimate bearing capacity theories.
2. Allowable loads based on vertical movement of the piers.
3. Allowable loads based on lateral bearing capacity of the piers.

In addition to the above, the uplift capacity of piers with or without underreams has to be evaluated.

The following types of strata are considered.

1. Piers embedded in homogeneous soils, sand or clay.
2. Piers in a layered system of soil.
3. Piers socketed in rocks.

It is better that the designer select shaft diameters that are multiples of 150 mm (6 in) since these are the commonly available drilling tool diameters.

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