What Are the Construction Benefits of Horizontal Directional Drilling?

It’s estimated that the global horizontal directional drilling market will reach a value of $14.86 billion by 2028.

The construction industry encompasses a huge range of projects. A typical construction job may involve placing pipelines, and there are various ways to do this. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is a method that has grown in popularity due to the benefits it brings.

For a rundown of some of the major benefits of HDD, keep reading.

What Is Horizontal Directional Drilling?

HDD is a relatively new drilling technique that’s used within the construction industry for pipe laying projects. Laying a pipe can often be a large job with a lot of potential issues in terms of time, safety, and workload.

HDD involves using an automated system to drill horizontally below the surface to install pipeline systems.

What Are the Construction Benefits of HDD

HDD is often used for utility conduits (gas, water, and electric) and telecommunications infrastructure. There are other types of drilling that can be used, but HDD offers several benefits that often make it the best choice.

Minimal Disruptions

One of the main benefits of HDD is that it keeps disruptions to a minimum. It’s a trenchless method of installing pipelines, so the only areas that are disturbed are the location where the drill enters the ground and the other end where the pipe comes out.

The directional drill head is controlled by an operator and can go under rivers, roads, buildings, and any other obstacles. Laying pipe using other methods could require digging up the ground along the whole length of the pipe, which could be a major issue if there are obstacles in the way.

Quick Installations

Being able to drill directly under obstacles makes HDD much faster than trenching. The surface-launched drilling rig can be fully automated to save time.

Low Costs

When using trenching processes a contractor would need to deal with concrete/pavement on the worksite. This can involve:

  • Saw cutting
  • Demo
  • Removal
  • Rehab

HDD completely eliminates the need for this which helps keep the cost down. This applies to things like roads and parking lots that would take a lot of time to put back in place.

Less Licensure

This is a direct result of the reduced disruption caused by HDD. It interferes with less on the surface, and therefore fewer permits are needed, saving time and allowing the project to run smoothly.


Digging trenches on a construction site naturally creates more of a health and safety risk to workers. Trenchless drilling reduces the risk of accidents and even helps ensure the safety of other equipment on site.

Other types of drilling may cover larger areas, and that simply presents more opportunities for accidents. HDD creates just a few small-bore openings at each end of the pipe. Fewer open holes mean less risk of injury.

Should You Use Horizontal Directional Drilling

Many projects can be made a lot easier by using horizontal directional drilling. It’s perfect for laying pipelines if they need to go below other obstacles. You can also provide a safer working environment and keep costs to a minimum.

If you want to read more construction-related articles check out some of our other blog posts.

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