A foundation element consisting of a column embedded into the soil below the lowest floor to the top of a footing or pile cap. Where a pier bears directly on the soil without intermediate footings or pile caps, the entire length of the column below the lowest floor level shall be considered as a foundation pier. Foundation piers shall be limited to piers so constructed that the entire surface of the sides of the pier and the BEARING material under the lower end of the pier can be visually inspected prior to or during construction, but which will be concealed in the final work. Piers below the lowest floor or BASEMENT level that will be exposed and open to inspection in the final work shall be considered as columns. Types of construction wherein the sides cannot be visually inspected shall be considered as piling.