Cory, with all due respect, I'm fully aware of how piled foundations are constructed. But what is economical in Long Beach Island, NJ
is not necessarily so in New Orleans, LA
despite the relative need being the same. To that end, economics of construction is usually dictated by results found in a quantified cost-benefit analysis, and therein lies the difference.
Having checked out a handful of websites about Long Beach Island--not having been there myself--I would argue that it probably enjoys a higher median real estate value than New Orleans ($87,000 IIRC from some random news report I've seen in the last few days), which is a good metric in the "benefit" category. Therefore, if LBI's real estate values are, say, double that of New Orleans, there is that much more padding, if you will, to determine whether a construction method is feasible.
Now I have no hard data on houses constructed on piles, but if it costs $100,000 to build it where this house will only realize a value of $87,000 in New Orleans and $170,000 in Long Beach Island, it is clear that constructing in New Orleans with this method is, again, uneconomical.
There are certainly other variables, Cory, that dictate economical construction, but again, the key point that I'm trying to make is that either ignoring those other factors or flatly disregarding the disparity in realized benefits between the two situations, you are prone to make some invalid conclusions about construction economy.
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...