The critical nature of aging infrastructure has been at the forefront of industry conversations and concerns, increasing the awareness of durability, longevity and efficient project delivery. Improved construction execution and appropriate material choice are proven solutions that provide substantial relief to ongoing challenges, including schedule and budget constraints.
One thing that has stood the test of time — for many reasons — is the reputation and application of helical piles. Renowned for securing deep foundations, they have carried the weight of buildings and bridges for almost 200 years.
Invented to shore up lighthouses, helical piles are composed of helical bearing plates welded to a central steel shaft or extension. Transferring the load from the shaft to the ground, the helix-shaped plates efficiently screw into the soil with minimal disturbance. Installed via a hydraulic drive head, helical piles provide secure foundations with minimum embedment and calculated torque.
Meeting Evolving Market Demands
Helical piles typically are a faster, more cost-effective construction option than traditional concrete foundations. But instead of trusting the prefabrication and installation to separate entities, an integrated design-prefabricate-construct approach offers a more streamlined option, where all is handled in-house and absorbed into the comprehensive project package.
An integrated team has the capability to safely and effectively execute design-build projects as well as fabricate and install helical piles as part of the overall project delivery. Providing these services in-house accelerates foundation installation at industrial and manufacturing locations and at power delivery facilities, reducing project cost, schedule and footprint.
An integrated team approach improves the overall quality of the final installed product because the chain of control stays with one company. Through collaboration and testing, an inclusive engineering, prefabrication and construction team identifies solutions and standardizes offerings to meet speed-to market demands.
Folding prefabrication and installation of helical piles into the mix swiftly advances new construction as well as the development of replacement parts for aging concrete foundations.
Digging Deep Into the Benefits
Prefabrication of helical piles delivers predictable costs and enables expedited schedules, with immediate, direct delivery anywhere in the world. This customized, prefabricated process provides individual design assurance and improved quality control.
Made of carbon steel with optional galvanizing, helical piles can be installed in any weather and within most environments. They also offer a mostly spoils-free installation process, resulting in less excavation, concrete and expensive off-site trucking.
Helical piles are prefabricated and inspected for accuracy, weld quality, and conformance to the design and specifications of each customer or per requirements. The finished product then undergoes performance testing. Utilizing an integrated design process also involves effective sourcing of equipment, drive heads and torque monitors for efficient installation.
As part of an intelligent, streamlined construction approach, helical piles allow for low-clearance installations of multiple piles per day. Designed and prefabricated to stand strong for a long time, helical piles are not only a preferred option for poor soil conditions within challenging landscapes but also a competitive option for good soil.
Bringing the prefabrication and installation of helical piles under one integrated construction entity, packaged as part of the project delivery approach, is smart integration. Beyond increased project efficiency, it’s a lasting combination that significantly reduces project cost and footprints and enhances speed to market.