The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and the European Federation of Foundation Contractors (EFFC) announce the release of the first edition of their EFFC/DFI Guide to Support Fluids for Deep Foundations.

In a release, the DFI says the guide represents “state of the art of support fluid practice” and aims to improve existing design, testing and practices for deep foundation elements: bored piles (drilled shafts), barrettes (LBEs) and diaphragm wall panels. It says this is the first time that knowledge of good practice from around the world has been brought together into a single, authoritative publication.

The guide is a collaboration between DFI and EFFC, building on the success of the EFFC/DFI Guide to Tremie Concrete for Deep Foundations, which advances the understanding of tremie concrete performance and is the industry authority on the subject. The Guide to Support Fluids for Deep Foundations follows the same model, with the first edition detailing accepted industry good practice, to be followed by a second edition based on a comprehensive R&D program.

The guide is the work of a dedicated 47-member task group that brought together contractors, suppliers, consultants and leading academics. They have worked for the past 24 months to deliver the guide to the geotechnical industry.

The DFI says the next phase of the project is to carry out a series of field research studies. The studies will collect data from active project sites and develop and conduct non-standard tests in order to establish what testing methods have substantial value, and to better understand the validity of the compliance values in use. The task group will then produce a second edition of the guide that promises to be the best authority on the use of support fluids in the industry. Publication for that edition is expected in 2021.

The DFI and EFFC thank the sponsors of the guide for their generous contributions of financial support, equipment and access to sites to facilitate the next phase of the project.

The guide is available for free download at or

The DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, academics and suppliers in the deep foundations industry with more than 3,500 members worldwide. For more information about the Deep Foundations Institute, visit

The European Federation of Foundation Contractors works to promote the common interests of its members by improving the standard of workmanship, technical competence, safety and innovation for specialist foundation contractors across Europe.